How Young is “Too Young?”

Too young for what, you’re probably asking yourself! There is a lot of disagreement about what age is too young to compete in dance competitions.

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My dance competition journey began when I was 12 years old. That was the age my dance studio allowed us to compete. I remember all of my friends bragging about how excited they were to compete and I wanted to feel a part of that group. Along with some peer pressure, dancing competitively was something I always had the desire to do. I spent every day in the studio to achieve my dream and other girls my age were competing, so why couldn’t I?

That day, I begged my mom to let me compete and she was extremely hesitant. She could only think of the negative aspects, similar to those stated in the danceosaurus blog, that I didn’t understand. But I was absolutely relentless. I wouldn’t take no as an answer. I didn’t understand the negative aspects of competing until I experienced it. Personally, the pros outweighed the cons. My mom’s main concern was my self-esteem because I never experienced losing before. And yes, in dance competitions, there can only be one winner.

Originally I thought it was all fun and games but after my first competition on Jan. 25, 2008 it was a rude awaking. It was the first time I’ve ever experienced “failure” doing something I loved. I competed against girls that were more experienced and got higher scores than me. I am calling it a failure because it was the first time that I lost, and I’m sure all of you can relate, losing is not fun! But, I am glad I was mature enough to understand that if I work harder and put more dedication into dance, then I could have a better outcome next time I compete.

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Competing is stressful and a lot of competing is only worth it if dance is your life and your passion and you will never give up. So I think the age you start competing is up to you and when you feel ready. If you compete before you are ready it could really affect your health and your relationships.

With that, competing has to be up to the individual and you’ll never know until you try. I personally think that it was the best experience ever, even though losing is not fun. It
made me the person I am today. After that first competition, I continued practicing and encouraging myself to get up again and try harder until I got to the top.

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If you had a similar or different experience, please share your story!


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