Why do you compete?

JudeMorrigan

Well-Known Member
#21
I was hypercompetitive in high school, doing all sorts of extracurricular activities. They weren't anything particularly cool, I'm afraid (I was big into Latin - and I don't mean the dancing, for example), but I really enjoyed them. It always struck me as a bit sad that once I graduated, I no longer seemed to have the opportunity for that sort of thing.

Now, like a sizeable portion of the guys out there, I first tried ballroom as a way to meet people. And by "people", I mean "women". That didn't work out terribly well, except in the sense that I have many good, female friends who I've met through dancing. But the competition itself has been a big part of what's kept me going.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the dancing in and of itself. The performance aspect is also good for me and something I get a good bit out of. But I don't have to compete for that. In short, I compete because I like to compete. It is it's own goal. I'll add that as much as I like to win, the actual results aren't really the point. I get grumpy about super-lightly and uncontested heats, even when that means I'm guaranteed shiny medals or scholarship checks. The competition itself is what draws me in.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
#22
[...] I am taking a 6 month break from competing because I am not certain that the cost benefit analysis works for me anymore...one of my sadnesses is that it seems impossible sometimes to dance really well with someone with whom I have a mutually enjoyable relationship for a price I can sustain with outcomes that seem objective....so, for now I just want to see if I can continue to get better
I can empathize with that. A complex subject, no? Well said!
 

Miss Silly

Well-Known Member
#23
I'm one of those competitive-by-nature people. But it's more about competing against myself in that intense environment, rather than "beating other people". There is something about the pressure and adrenaline that I can't recreate in just regular practice or social dancing that part of me really thrives in. I LOVE that feeling of being out on the floor and fighting for attention. I love telling a story, or being a character, and/or sharing something really organic with your partner and/or the audience... a moment that would be impossible to exactly duplicate ever again. Every time you step out onto a dance floor, it's a unique phenomenon (which applies to any dance environment really, but in a competition/performance setting, it feels like all those things but on steroids). There are infinite amounts of variables and unpredictability, which is something i've always loved about the performing arts and sports. I love the marriage of movement and music (music being a huge reason why i dance in the first place). I love the way it feels and how you can share that with people, be it directly by dancing with them, or them visually enjoying and connecting to the experience.

And of course, donning theatrical makeup and something dripping in sparkles is one of my all-time favourite things to do. It would look odd if i did that to go grocery shopping or to go to work (accounting). I love being able to roll that into some outlet other than halloween LOL. I'm certain I was a drag queen in my past life.

Other benefits to competition is that as much as I love dancing for it's own sake, i probably do work a bit harder at it because of having these competition goals. Right or wrong, people often see it as "more serious" if you add a competition label to it (be it peers, outsiders, instructors, etc.) and while it doesn't really matter what other people thing, i admit i do like that i fall into that 'serious' category. I tend to be drawn to extremes (double-edged sword!) so it seems like a natural thing for me to do LOL.
 

dancelvr

Well-Known Member
#24
This is me, too. If I didn't compete, I don't think I'd know nearly as well what to work on or why. And having that focus, and a reason for it, is good in itself, but also as a sanity-maintaining distraction from the less sanity-inducing parts of my life.
This.
 

anntennis

Active Member
#26
2) I liked the idea of buying a pretty gown and going to the ball...

That is why I started dancing.....I love going to the ball and dance well with skillful dance partner or perform a fantazy walts in the showcase (but not to compete though)
 
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Lioness

Well-Known Member
#27
I have to say, I started competing because our coach at the time wanted to take all his students...it was seeing the higher levels and all of the stunning dresses that made me stick around and swear to get good.
 

smidra86

Active Member
#29
I compete because I love the atmosphere and that I get to perform. I love going to competitions to see how much I've improved since the last time I danced. It is a measure of how much I've improved. Its also why I view my marks compared to other competitors because they also improve during the time between competitions and I would hope that I am capable of improving enough to either keep a reasonable distance from them, such as if they have some amount of first place marks over me, that that remains rhe same from competition to competition or I narrow or widen the gap (depending on where I stand behind or ahead of them respectively) to prove to myself that I improved just a little more than they did during that time.
 
#31
LOL I find that comp photos, like videos, are more of a brutal reality check than a reason to compete. They do help in gauging progress.
I have thought I had danced well, and been quite happy with my results... So, I think to myself, I'll go look at the pro photos in search of a momento of my fabulous dancing, only to have my perspective re-alligned with reality ever so quickly... :( But the pictures are better than they used to be... ;)
 

slhull.13

Active Member
#32
LOL I find that comp photos, like videos, are more of a brutal reality check than a reason to compete. They do help in gauging progress.
Isn't that ALWAYS the way?! You can give what feels like a magical performance out on the floor, and then see yourself in a video or a picture..........totally deflates your sails.
 

slhull.13

Active Member
#33
I have thought I had danced well, and been quite happy with my results... So, I think to myself, I'll go look at the pro photos in search of a momento of my fabulous dancing, only to have my perspective re-alligned with reality ever so quickly... :( But the pictures are better than they used to be... ;)
YES they are definitely better than they used to be, for me as well.
 

SwayWithMe

Well-Known Member
#34
I suppose it's motivation to improve one's dancing! LOL

Placements have little to do with actually dancing well. A visiting coach told me that when he judges "often it's all cr@p, so you'd better have a good dress!"
 

5678dance

Active Member
#36
I really like this question.

Thinking about it, I realize that my 2 biggest reasons for competing overlap with 2 of my prominent personality traits.

1. I am a very goal-oriented person in all aspects of life. I enjoy the strive for perfection, and in ballroom dance, competitions provide me goals to work toward.
2. I value honesty over a lot of other qualities. Competitions fill the hole for me that performances lack, which is immediate and HONEST feedback-- from many different sources(judges) to validate it, not just from one teacher-- about how well I performed. In a performance, generally people are going to say that you looked wonderful, whether you did or did not! But... I want the TRUTH! (*cue jack nicholson impression*) and I want to truth so I can circle back and work on #1.
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#37
um...well...I think with competitions there are still many things that you have to sift through to get to that...but, it does give you some sense of things over a series for comps and then combined with the opinions of your coaches and the comparison to past tapes etc...but...I wouldn't look at it as unvarnished objective truth either...when it is good and when it isn't
 

5678dance

Active Member
#38
Very much agreed.... which is why I continually compete, I don't only compete at one competition each year or something like that. It is very much an ongoing process! And each individual comp is always to be taken with a grain or two of salt. You gotta be able to see the forest for the trees!
 

Lioness

Well-Known Member
#39
LOL I find that comp photos, like videos, are more of a brutal reality check than a reason to compete. They do help in gauging progress.
I love the feeling of "Oh, there are way more good photos this comp than the previous one"

Now I'm at a stage where maybe only 40% of the photos look bad, compared to about 80% a couple of years ago.
 

dlliba10

Well-Known Member
#40
I was hypercompetitive in high school, doing all sorts of extracurricular activities. They weren't anything particularly cool, I'm afraid (I was big into Latin - and I don't mean the dancing, for example), but I really enjoyed them. It always struck me as a bit sad that once I graduated, I no longer seemed to have the opportunity for that sort of thing.
I'm currently getting my PhD in Classics (Latin and Ancient Greek and ancient civilization) while maintaining my dancing life on the side. I happen to think Latin is plenty cool. Both kinds. ;)
 

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