Labeled as one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014,” this week’s #WomanOfInterest has been on television for most of her life. 19-year-old Kiernan Shipka stars on smash hits like Mad Men and Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Before claiming her fame as a young television star, Shipka was a classically trained ballroom dancer […]
Teamwork Makes the Dream #Werk : How to be a good teammate and #rockyourroutine
March 1st, 2016 by Roy Patterson
Congratulations! You’re on a competitive dance team! Whether it’s your first season dancing as a mini or you’re a high school senior walking into your 300th competition, it’s important to make sure you’re being a good teammate. Teamwork makes the dream work, but not without a lot of sweat, blood, tears, trust, and love.
Here’s how you can be a good teammate, and help dance your team to success on competition day:
- Learn to trust each other! Not all teams stay the same from season to season. Dancers age out, move, take a season off. Knowing the name of who’s doing a fan kick three inches from your face is important (so you can thank them after), but try to learn more about your teammates! Learn their favorite color, why they love dancing, what they like doing outside the studio. Do a bonding activity together – like hiking, crafting, or volunteering. Get your dance family together for some team building exercises, like trust falls, so you can feel confident that your dance family literally has your back!
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Take a cue from Ms. Aretha Franklin and treat every member of your dance family with respect – including yourself. Ban negative body talk! Listen to your instructors, be present when learning a new combination, be on time and ready to work. If you feel like a member of your team is being bullied, see what you can do to understand the situation and reach out to a leader on your team for guidance. Look into incorporating Competition Kindness at your home studio with your friends and peers. Being respectful is an easy way to add value to your own life and creates a culture where every member of your dance team can perform to their highest potential.
- Set goals! Does your team have one competition coming up where you really want to wow the judges with an insane swing jump combination you’ve been perfecting for months? Meet with your teacher and choreographer to see what they notice you need to work on to achieve your goal. Be honest with yourself and ask “what do I need to improve on so my team meets its goal? “- then do it! Hang with your friends outside the studio and rehearse- then make an Instagram video of your routine! Setting tangible goals – like nailing an element- gives your dance team something to work towards and celebrate after accomplishing.
- Be understanding! Not everyone is at the same level as you. Not everyone works the same way you do, or will figure out the routine at the same pace. Instead of berating your teammates – help them! Work with them after class on their splits, let them know you see their improvement! If one of your teammates is visibly having a bad day, give them a hug or slip an “I think you’re awesome” note into their dance bag. Being understanding shows your team that you care about them inside the studio and out.
- Be accountable to yourself! Hold yourself to the same standards of excellence you expect out of your dance family, and lead by example. If that means keeping your phone inside your bag from the second you step inside the studio until you’re on the way home – do it. If that means skipping movie night with school friends to rest the night before competition day – do it. Holding yourself accountable will not only help you grow as a dancer but will also show your dance family how seriously you take your commitment to the team.
Just like any relationship, being a member of a competitive dance team is a lot of work. It takes empathy, understanding, respect, dedication, and passion. But mostly, it requires commitment – not only to your studio, but also to your new dance family. Putting in the work to become a superstar cohesive unit of dance awesomeness will not only make your team stronger so you can #rockyourroutine but will also give you the best dance memories for years to come.
Post Blog Workshop:
- What are three ways you can be a better teammate?
- What is one teambuilding activity you can plan for your dance family?
Tell us in the comments! How are you committing to your team? Remember, teamwork makes your dreams #werk y’all.
Mariel Pauline Rosen is the StarQuest social media concierge. She likes shiny things and believes in your sparkle!