FAQ: When Should I Try a Ballroom Dance Competition?
Competitive dancing is an exciting facet within the hobby of ballroom dancing. Similar to any sport or activity, from playing basketball to backgammon, competition is not required to enjoy it. For aspiring competitive dancers, there is no wait time whatsoever, as every Dance Event, from local to international, offers a Newcomer category.
What is the Newcomer Category?
While it may change slightly from event to event, the Newcomer category is, essentially, a division that is exclusive to students who have taken less than 50 lessons on their dance program, and their first time participating.
Who Should Try the Newcomer Category at a Dance Competition?
It would be easy to say "Everyone", and in the process it would be just as easy for most people not to believe that suggestion. So, while anyone who has taken less than 50 lessons can qualify, here are some specific examples of people that are perfect candidates for the Newcomer Division.
"Right Way, First Time"
For any student that wants to maximize the value of the time spent in their hobbies to the fullest. This student may have had hobbies that died away in the past, and dancing will not be one of them.
The only thing that they hate more than being called a beginner is having their progress stuck in neutral. So the term "Newcomer" may not sound exciting, but they typically find value in competition as a way of fast tracking their progress.
Think of a great stew... you'd never make it in the microwave. This is the type of student that has been exploring the idea of ballroom dancing for a long time. This is not a "should I take dance lessons?" situation. The Crock Pot student has researched dances, thought of the thrill of a dance event, and maybe even imagined a dance costume.
Whether it's horseback riding, softball, or a sales contest at work - the sooner a student can make a non-dancing association to a dance competition, the more likely they can see the benefits of the activity. A competition, in any activity, is a tool for development in the hobby.
"Might as Well"
This brand of student may have come in for dance lessons on a whim, or a dare, and they realize something - dancing in front of people won't kill you. They may not be daredevils by trade, but they don't let fear stop them from enjoying life.
The Truth about Competing in Dancing
Ultimately, it's all about how you dance. While the word "competition" may conjure images of Greco-Roman wrestling, it's closer to sports like golf and bowling. Meaning - it has everything to do with your own form, your own execution, and your own Dance Journey, not a head to head battle against opponents.
The Purpose of Dance Competitions
Whether it is a book, a movie, a relationship, or a vacation - there are things we participate in that, ultimately, teach us and improve us somehow. Dancing is no different, whether that is social or competitive dancing. Dance is a vehicle that can help anyone achieve new levels of confidence, fitness, and social skills - the type of dancing you do is just another route towards a common goal.
The "Not So" Newcomer
There are times when a student may no longer qualify for the Newcomer Division, but that shouldn't stop anyone from exploring an exciting dance event in the near future. Remember this - the larger the event, the more divisions they have. This means that you will only be on the floor with other students in the same age and dance category as you are.
Ballroom dancing doesn't have the expiration date that sports like gymnastics and football do. There are students in Arthur Murray that begin competing right away, and some that don't, but all can compete and attend competitions, regardless of age or dance level, at any time. These dance events are an exciting extension of your dance hobby, but not a mandatory one.
The challenge of a competition, and the changes to the level of detail to a dance program that go along with it, are worth exploring for any student.
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