How To React To Disappointing Competition Results

“You should have placed higher.” 

Almost every competitive dancer has had an event where things didn’t go their way. Their performance kicked butt, but the results reflected the opposite. They did everything right, but still, the top of the podium eluded them. What gives?

With dancesport being a very subjective sport, when you get results that feel undeserved or unfair, it’s easy to start blaming things that had nothing to do with your dancing. 

“The floor was slippery.”

“Those judges always favor the students from their studio.”

“That judge just doesn’t like me. He never gives me good marks.”

“That other couple kept getting in our way.”

“They’re biased against me because I’m fatter/taller/shorter/tattooed/etc.”

How much these factors actually affected your results, I can’t say. What I can tell you is how to react to your results when you think something unfair or biased contributed to them. The short answer: don’t.

This isn’t about getting the justice you think you deserve or sticking it to those who didn’t give you a fair shot. It’s about preserving your mindset so you can go out and dance at the next competition with joy instead of bitterness.

The truth is the longer you compete, the more likely you’ll get results that you don’t like. But since dancing is about so much more than results, it’s important to not let disappointing or unfair placements get in the way of why you really dance. 

One way to do that is make your results at a competition an afterthought. Your primary focus is owning and enjoying every moment of your dancing. Stepping out onto the floor like you belong there (because you do!). You’re not there to be validated by the judges or anyone else. You don’t care about their opinions because you love what you do and you know you’ll give your best performance no matter what. 

It may sound oversimplified and I know you have a lot of external voices telling you that you need to do this and that to ensure the judges notice you or to give you an extra edge over the competition. Doesn’t it get stressful and tiring to have to worry about all of those “extra” things though? Wouldn’t it be nice to just dance your heart out? 

It might sound weird. I mean, why are you entering a competition if you don’t care about the results? The funny thing is, when I truly stopped worrying about what the judges thought of me and just danced for my own joy and fulfillment, I took home a world champion title! 

I can’t guarantee anything, of course, but if you’ve been frustrated by disappointing competition results, you may be surprised to see how they improve once you stop paying attention to them.

Happy dancing, dancers!

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