This is a question a lot of parents ask themselves when their son or daughter wants to get involved with dance competitions. There are a lot of questions that go through the mind of parents, especially those who did not grow up dancing in competitions themselves. Will it put too much pressure on my kid? Will it make them grow up too fast? Are they going to be upset if they lose? Are other kids going to be mean to them?

These are all valid questions. Today, we’d like to calm those emotions you may be feeling to give you an idea of what a dance competition is really like. And, as always, if you have any specific questions or concerns, just give us a call or send us a message! We do national and regional competitions year-round and can help calm your nerves if needed!

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It’s Not Like What You See On TV

With reality shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms flooding the TV, it is important to remember that even though these shows claim to be “reality,” they do not accurately depict the world of dance competitions. These shows are designed to do one thing: keep you watching. They are edited to be full of drama, catfights, screaming, crying, and we’ll never forget the “go-go juice” that Honey Boo Boo drank on Toddlers & Tiaras (allegedly a healthy mix of Red Bull and Mountain Dew). At the end of the day, these types of shows depict dance competitions in a negative light.

For parents whose kids are begging to be entered into their first dance competition, this can seem daunting. You most likely don’t want your kids chugging energy drinks and being exposed to drama around every corner. Thankfully, most dance competitions aren’t like this. In fact, it would seem that not even reality show dance competitions are like this. Want some proof? Maddie Ziegler, a now 15-year-old former contestant on Dance Moms (and now backup dancer for singer Sia), said in a USA Today interview, “It’s hard to do a reality show when there’s so much crying and drama. The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other. You know how I said that moms do fight? The moms have a fake fight sometimes. Afterward, they just start talking and laugh about it.”

We especially try to create a low-stress, drama-free, healthy environment here at Star Systems Talent. As a family-owned dance competition business, we focus on creating a family-friendly environment that demonstrates to performers that if they try their best, they are already a winner – even if they don’t go home with a trophy. Our founder has plenty of experience in the dance competition world, as do most of our staff, so we know what it is like to be a performer in a hectic competition. We do our part to make sure all of our dancers feel comfortable and confident, and leave with their heads held high.

Every Dancer Is Different

While we try to create a welcoming environment, that doesn’t mean there won’t be strong competitors who dedicate their lives to dance and performance. It is a competition after all. But many competitors just compete casually for fun and for the experience. Just because TV shows make it seem like every parent throws thousands of dollars into every competition, glues fake eyelashes onto their daughter’s eyes, and slaps a pound of makeup on their face, this isn’t a reality for everyone. We want performers and parents to do what makes them feel comfortable. If you don’t want your daughter wearing false eyelashes or excessive makeup, we guarantee she won’t be alone. On the other hand, if your group does feature expensive costumes and glamorous makeup, that’s fine too! It’s a spectrum, and the performers fall into every position on that spectrum.

Why Dancers Want To Perform In Competitions

When looking at the world of sports – and trust us, dance is a sport – dance is almost always performed in a studio or classroom. You take dance lessons, but you play football. You go to ballet class, but you go the softball game. This can be difficult for children who only ever get to perform for their teachers and the few parents who hang out at class. Meanwhile, their sibling has weekly Little League games with bleachers full of cheering families. When most young dancers ask their parents, “Is there a dance competition near me that I can do?” it is not because they want to win a trophy or a prize. It is because they want to show off everything they have been practicing in the studio just like every other kid involved in athletics.

The Dance Teacher Is Your Best Friend

As a parent of a dancer, you might not be familiar with dance competitions, but most likely, your child’s dance instructor is. Additionally, since we do not take independent entries, your child’s dance instructor will need to be involved in getting them registered. If you are unsure of whether or not your child is ready to compete, pull the dance teacher to the side and ask them honestly. Perhaps they have no idea your child wants to compete and can start ensuring they have proper technique to get them ready for competition. Or maybe the entire studio will want to compete together and the instructor can start organizing a group dance competition piece. Keep open communication about your child’s desire to compete in a local dance competition and work together to get them prepared.

Star Systems Talent Hosts Regional And National Dance Competitions

Star Systems has national regional dance competitions all over the United States, from dance competitions in Las Vegas to Kansas dance competitions, California dance competitions, North Carolina dance competitions, and much more. Check out our list of dance competitions in 2018 if your son or daughter is interested in competing. We don’t want to toot our own horn here, but Star Systems truly is dedicated to creating a positive dance competition for all dancers, new and experienced, and our friendly staff can help guide you through to process every step of the way. Contact us for more information!