Making a commitment and sticking to it is a lesson that seems pretty easy to learn, but isn’t always so. It can be a challenge—especially for young dancers—to navigate a big responsibility like that! One of the most valuable life lessons our competition team dancers learn at Tonawanda Dance Arts is following through on their commitments.
From the start, joining the competition team isn’t something a dancer does on a whim. There are auditions to prepare for and schedules to align. There are team policies to consider and extra expenses to budget. In fact, at Tonawanda Dance Arts, we understand that participation isn’t a choice made only by the dancer; it’s a family decision.
We know that our competition team requires an extensive commitment. But we also know that the long-term benefits our dancers will experience from this commitment will far outweigh any temporary conflicts that may pop up during the season! Below we outline the most important advantages to our competition team students when it comes to honing this essential skill:
Agreeing to a commitment teaches future-thinking: With a competition team agreement, dancers are looking ahead to an entire season and asking themselves, “Am I willing to give 100% effort all year to follow through on this commitment?” Most pre-teens and teens make decisions based on how they feel right now, which is normal in adolescence. Making a decision based on thinking ahead is a skill that needs sharpening. Through their passion for dance and agreement to the competition team, our dancers are learning how to consider the future in their choices.
Following through on a commitment sometimes requires sacrifices: Though it can be an uncomfortable lesson to learn, sometimes making a commitment to the team means that it overrides other opportunities like parties, travel, or school social events. Our students may find themselves feeling tested by their competition team commitment—and that’s OK. We understand that it will happen and have built our attendance policies with it in mind. It’s not easy, but standing by their commitment teaches our dancers to act with integrity.
Abiding by a commitment shows reliability as a team member: As a team, our competition students form close bonds and learn to depend on each other … sometimes emotionally and physically, depending on the choreography! Becoming a reliable teammate shows each team member that they respect each other and value each person’s contributions to the group. They share in this commitment together and learn to appreciate the effort everyone makes to achieve success.
We hope you’ll discuss with your Tonawanda Dance Arts team dancer all the positive ways they are growing from following through on their commitments. We’re grateful that they’ve chosen dance to be one of their top priorities!