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Author Topic: Why do people expect you to compete?  (Read 2219 times)
elisedance
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2013, 06:42:50 PM »

and 'unserious competetive dancers' to complete the set Grin
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phoenix13
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2013, 06:58:55 PM »

lol. Good point!
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bookworm
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2013, 09:53:31 AM »

Unfortunately this is exactly why I stopped dancing all together. During my last 6 months of dancing, over 2years ago now, I felt that I was getting pressured into doing comps. I kept hearing from my BF, who is also a dancer that dancing isn't my Passion because I'm not taking it seriously enough. He's one of those people who when they get into something want to be everything they can be in it, he's also quite competitive. I also unfortunately was at a Studio that while was very supportive when you competed, all the students were competetive dancers and that was all they focussed on - the competitive side of dancing. I felt that I was losing interest in it and was just doing it because that's what I was know as, as a dancer, not because I actually loved dancing. So after much heartache I stopped and haven't had a lesson since. I miss it terribly but don't want to get back to such an environment as I now know that's just not going to make me happy. I'm still on the look out for a place where I can just dance and not have people expect things of me...
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phoenix13
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« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2013, 10:45:38 AM »

I am so sorry to hear that!  Surely there must be a place where you can just enjoy the dancing without being pressured to live up to other people's expectations. *sigh*
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« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2013, 12:04:44 AM »

Hi Bookworm, the desire to compete must come from within, not because of other people. It just does not work. When you are both on different paths it can be difficult and then someone always seems to take a back seat to another. I know I did that for years with my first husband. supported his sport while I did not do anything for myself. It can become grating so be careful.

I hope you will find something that you love to do socially and learn more about dance so you can be part of it in other ways Grin
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« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2013, 12:07:39 AM »

On a personal note, it was me that wanted to compete as I would often go to comps and think , I can do that, but V was not ready he had so much workload with university that it would not have been fare to add to the load, we were really enjoying our dancing as an outlet for a break from the grueling taxing work of studying....

We went on a Holiday to Holiday and visited a couple who were selling a tail-suit! and when we talked about it she said you too should be doing competitions you are both so passionate about it. So Hence the journey began. We have done it for ourselves and not for others that is for sure, they just planted the seed Cheesy
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elisedance
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« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2013, 04:37:11 AM »

Hi BW, nice to see you drop in.  Competition dancers can be, shall we say, somewhat insensitive to anyone that does not see dancesport as the be-all and end-all - which is rather sad since IMO they may have lost a lot (or never had) an appreciation for dancing itself.

I think its true in all fields that people can be very good at them even if their motives are not pure - thus I know a lot of scientists who don't really care much about science itself (discovery, knowledge, truth even) but do it for other motivations, notably prestige, power and fame.  While they can achive great things on occasion (I hope) these can also be rushed or not fully controlled and unreliable because the motivation is not consistent with the goal.

Same is true of dancing.  There are a lot of competition dancers that will do anything to win, even make their dancing unenjoyable, contrived and ugly.  To my view they have lost sight of the object of dance, either as a personal activity or as an art form - and I have had the same feelings that you do.  Of course others are trapped between what the feel is good dancing and what they must do for their dance careers - and I sympathise with them but there are places to learn and competitions to participate in that still appreciate dance from a purists point of view.

I hope I didn't babble on too much there - just to say that I'm with you - given the choice of dancing only for competition or dancing for personal need and pleasure I'm definitely in the latter camp (though I have to admit it was not always so). 

Could you dance at a different studio?  One with a more broad base?  I hope this has not made a rift between you and BF - though I can't see how it could not have.  You may have to accept him taking on a new dance partner - else you are in effect forcing him to not follow his aspirations - although that has obviously all sorts of personal connotations.

Good luck!!
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phoenix13
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« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2013, 04:52:15 AM »

Hmm.Yes.  People have all sorts of motives.  Lots of food for thought, here, and nothing I can think of is sounding intelligent to me, right now. *sigh*

My biggest issue is not with competitive dancers who are all about winning. Eh.  That's up to them, I suppose. If they enjoy winning for winning's sake, so be it.  My problem is with ANY kind of dancers who insist that their way of doing it is the only right way.

It's not just competitive versus social. there's also the huge am/am versus pro/am. Smooth versus standard.  Standard versus new vogue. Partner versus freestyle. Traditional versus contemporary (e.g. in swing.)  And don't even get  me started on tango!

Can't we all just get along?

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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2013, 07:39:21 AM »

I have had that experience with AT dancers. Who tells you have not lived till yiu have embraced it. I know thats not all of them but it is annoying.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2013, 08:47:16 AM »

Yes.  It's very annoying when people don't respect each other's points of view.*sigh*
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bookworm
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« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2013, 09:22:53 AM »

BF and I are still going strong. Thankfully I was never actually partnering him in dancing. He did a couple of medalist comps with me but we quickly decided that it was best for our relationship if we didn't dance together. He's had his own partner's and I've happily supported him throughout. I was only using him as an example of someone who expected something out of my dancing, his way of thinking was what's the point of taking lessons if you're not actually going to do anything with what you learn. I kind of understood where he was coming from but I just wanted to do it because I loved doing it. Even so my biggest issue wasn't with him, it was the whole environment I was in.

I had started my dancing at a social studio and had been doing that for 11 years when my teacher finally said that he had no more to teach me, that all we could do from here in was just different choreography to different pieces of music. I was still hungry for more though. I still wanted to learn more about dancing. That was when I moved studios to a competitive studio because I knew they had more to offer me. However this studio had a completely different atmosphere. The people were lovely, I'm still friends with them today, however the focus was completely different. Even the lesson structure was different. Previously at my old studio my lessons would consist of actual dancing for probably 80% of the lesson, where as in the new studio I was mostly either doing drills or doing the same thing over and over again. I understood that it would take some time for me to learn the new technique and styling but I felt like that's all they focussed on. Where was the actual dancing? It had disappeared. And so I started losing interest and eventually just stopped. And the politics in the competitive scene, ergh, not something I was ever interested. So I'm still searching for something...somewhere, where I can just dance.

I think the problem is that I have very specific needs, eg. I need a strong partner, I want to actually feel like a woman when I dance, I want to be led (on a side note, I've found that a lot of competitive dancers can't lead properly, I'm sure I've seen a topic here somewhere about it), I want lessons to consist of mostly dancing and not just drills. I actually have no problem with doing comps as long as I can feel like I'm actually dancing... Well I could go on but I think I've definitely babbled on a bit much and I may have gone slightly off topic... Ah, I love PDO!! Nowhere else do I feel comfortable enough to vent about these things  Grin Thanks ee for creating this wonderful community!!
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phoenix13
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« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2013, 09:37:43 AM »

I had started my dancing at a social studio and had been doing that for 11 years when my teacher finally said that he had no more to teach me, that all we could do from here in was just different choreography to different pieces of music. I was still hungry for more though. I still wanted to learn more about dancing. That was when I moved studios to a competitive studio because I knew they had more to offer me. However this studio had a completely different atmosphere. The people were lovely, I'm still friends with them today, however the focus was completely different. Even the lesson structure was different. Previously at my old studio my lessons would consist of actual dancing for probably 80% of the lesson, where as in the new studio I was mostly either doing drills or doing the same thing over and over again. I understood that it would take some time for me to learn the new technique and styling but I felt like that's all they focussed on. Where was the actual dancing? It had disappeared. And so I started losing interest and eventually just stopped. And the politics in the competitive scene, ergh, not something I was ever interested. So I'm still searching for something...somewhere, where I can just dance.

Wow.I wonder if the answer might be to find a different studio or different teacher.  Being a goal-oriented dancer doesn't mean that your lessons have to stop being fun.  All drills and no dancing doesn't sound like fun to me, either.

Of course, even if that helps, it won't fix the politics ...
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elisedance
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« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2013, 12:08:07 PM »

BF and I are still going strong. Thankfully I was never actually partnering him in dancing.

Very glad to hear you sorted this out - and what a great relationship you must have! 

...I moved studios to a competitive studio because I knew they had more to offer me. However this studio had a completely different atmosphere. The people were lovely, I'm still friends with them today, however the focus was completely different. Even the lesson structure was different. Previously at my old studio my lessons would consist of actual dancing for probably 80% of the lesson, where as in the new studio I was mostly either doing drills or doing the same thing over and over again. I understood that it would take some time for me to learn the new technique and styling but I felt like that's all they focussed on. Where was the actual dancing? It had disappeared. And so I started losing interest and eventually just stopped. And the politics in the competitive scene, ergh, not something I was ever interested. So I'm still searching for something...somewhere, where I can just dance.

I think the problem is that I have very specific needs, eg. I need a strong partner, I want to actually feel like a woman when I dance, I want to be led (on a side note, I've found that a lot of competitive dancers can't lead properly, I'm sure I've seen a topic here somewhere about it), I want lessons to consist of mostly dancing and not just drills. I actually have no problem with doing comps as long as I can feel like I'm actually dancing... Well I could go on but I think I've definitely babbled on a bit much and I may have gone slightly off topic...
right on I tihnk.  And I relate 100% to what you say - for me its something of a recent realization that its dance that I love not competition per se.  But you CAN find competition dancers that dance as you describe - its the whole body-school concept where the man and woman do their own jobs.  I've had to fight numerous pros who refuse to teach me to follow - they dismiss it first that I'm an AM and cant learn and second that competetive dancing has to be routine based.  But such approaches destroy the give and take and communication between the partners that for me defines exactly what partner dancing is all about.  My current pro has grasped it - maybe because he's younger or smarter or whatever - or maybe because I just would not give in.  Actually could not give in since I just can't learn routines and dance thats like having three people doing it - him, me and then my mental image of what he should be doing.  The former and latter always are bound to clash.  Whats happened is that we are gradually learning true lead-follow and at the competetive level.

So I suggest you look for that BK - look for a pro that likes to lead.  The only way to find it as far as I can see is to just take lessons with each one till you feel as if he enjoys dancing with you, not that he's doing his hour and then rushing to lunch.

Ah, I love PDO!! Nowhere else do I feel comfortable enough to vent about these things  Grin Thanks ee for creating this wonderful community!!
Smiley Smiley I can truly say that posts like yours here are exactly what PDO was created for and what I wanted it to be. Thanks so much for being a part of us.
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phoenix13
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« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2013, 12:21:46 PM »

Ah, I love PDO!! Nowhere else do I feel comfortable enough to vent about these things  Grin Thanks ee for creating this wonderful community!!
Smiley Smiley I can truly say that posts like yours here are exactly what PDO was created for and what I wanted it to be. Thanks so much for being a part of us.


Ditto to what Bookworm said.  This is a truly supportive and nurturing community, thanks to ee's leadership. Smiley  Thank you.
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« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2013, 02:17:16 AM »

group hug Cheesy I think sometimes the focus on a man is developing their technique on the feet and the leading seems to be down the track, it is not something that is provided early enough IMO, but once they have got it them it is hard for a women to pull back and wait for that lead. once you both have it wow it takes your dancing to another level.
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