Leave it all on the dance floor. That’s what I’ve been told to do since I was two years old. When at a dance competition, I am competing against the top people across the state and in some cases, the nation. I have to make myself memorable to stand out against hundreds of routines per category.
There is no time for error, and to contribute to my team, I have to give it my all and execute each move with energy and precision. Each individual is an important part of the routine, but how we work together is what matters. As soon as we walk on stage all the way to our strut off, we are judged as a unit. The total score is an average of each separate score on costumes, facial expressions, and the performance of each move.
This weekend, I won my first Platinum award in the small jazz division at the Showbiz National Dance Competition. The is equivalent to winning second place or third place depending on the competition protocol. From all the competitions I’ve been at throughout the years, there are a couple things I’ve learned about what it means to place Platinum:
- If you don’t put the time in, you don’t get the reward. It’s a fact. Leading up to this competition, I spent almost seven months in rehearsals preparing for this two minute routine. Although this would be tiring at times, sitting on stage and hearing the announcement that we won Platinum made it all worth it.
- Without passion for what you do, it is hard to be fully committed. You have to be committed to the dance so that the routine reads well to the judges. Stepping onto the stage, each person on my team was devoted to the dance in order to give it our all. We used each other’s energy to stay in tune with each other and the music.
- The routine is as strong as the weakest member. Each member of a routine is significant. Especially in the small division, where everyone is seen all the time, comradery is crucial. How each person performs affects the group, making the routine only as good as the teamwork is.
Placing Platinum means that something was done right. There is still room for improvement, but it places me one level closer to perfection, or in the case of competitions, under more pressure to win Diamond.