Feeling burned and getting your feelings hurt are not the best way to start a day. But, we all experience those feelings at some point in time. It is how you deal with the discomfort that will mold you and make you a stronger individual. Sometimes the situation will look hopeless, but the difference between the impossible and possible lies in not giving up.
Bill Gates said it best “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” . You have to learn from those moments and events that don’t work out your way.
You have to shine through the troubles and give out of your own need. Strive to become the person that does good for others whether or not you get paid back or not.
It’s easy to want to slam or demean the situation and/or individual. That’s easy. What’s hard is rising above that type of sour and/or bitter attitude of defeat. You have to NOT let failure be what molds you. You have to learn from those situations and grow. There are no guarantees that disappointment won’t happen again. More than likely it will, maybe not in the same area – but something totally different. But hopefully you will be stronger from your knowledge of the past; having already dealt with a situation that wasn’t comfortable for you.
When we have successes, it is important to celebrate. It is also important to show humility in the face of others. In the dance world, when you line up in the winners circle – where you rank becomes personal. But, if you don’t rank, and you aren’t one of the dancers standing in the circle, how are you supposed to feel? Are you hurt, let down, frustrated, embarrassed, feeling robbed, or left out? You might feel all of these. The main thing to remember is “humility”. You are probably thinking “you want me to feel humility – I just lost”. Yes, you need to be humble, not sour. Walk up to your competition and shake their hand. Congratulate them; it’s the basics of sportsmanship.
What you gain from that hand shake or those congratulatory words is redemptive for you. It is much better to offer praise than stew in a sour pot. Move on. Rise above the moment.
Self pity is different than being cheated out of something. I do understand that competitions don’t always seem fair. But most are. The judges at competition really aren’t cheating you out of anything- they don’t even know you. I see much more politics in the studio setting, than I do in the Judging arena.
Stupid Judges, it’s all “their” fault
Go back to your choreography and your own technical skills. Examine your score sheets. What did the judges say? Do they say the same thing every time? Then that is what you need to focus on. With your score sheet, don’t focus on the positive scores, look at the negative ones. The negative numbers and comments are the ones that “you” need to work on. If you will work on those, maybe the next time you will be where you want to be, in the winner circle. If you choose to ignore those critiques – then you can only blame yourself.
Judges don’t always judge on the merits that you think they will. Judges come with their own ideologies and diverse dance backgrounds. They also have a set of standards that they must uphold. Did you know that they may even grade each other after competitions? Some do, and it’s a good training tool.
When I was a kid, I always wondered why judges left the competitions early. But…since having been a judge myself, I know why. It’s not what you are thinking either. Their job is simply done. That’s all. Some do choose to watch the awards, but many don’t. There is an emotional aspect that is in play too. I’ve seen that, and felt it. That is the down side of judging. They do have compassion, and a great deal of respect for you. But, you went to competition to be judged. They did their job. The tool that you need to use to be successful in future dances is the score sheet.
In my experience, I know that I judged the best that I could, based on my own ideologies and background training. I ranked alongside the other judges the same. That felt good.
I remember as a young dancer burying my head into my solo instructor’s chest and crying like a baby because I didn’t place. I was very young, and I had no idea what to expect at competition. But, with compassion and a sense of humor, my instructor (Mindy Arthur) was there to explain the score sheets afterwards. I felt that – I let her down. But, she wasn’t upset with me at all. The situation actually gave her the ability to get me to see what I needed to do. The next year as a third grader, I took my first national championship. She made me a winner, she did it through the act of humility.
If you are feeling burned, do something about it. Start by looking again at the score sheets. Go back to the dance floor, and don’t forget to shake the hand of your competition – it’s redemptive. Who knows you may make a new friend. I did!
Mindy helped guide me in my early years, to build a foundation based on humility when working with younger students ( and their parents) in dance. Mindy also inspired me to conquer education and complete my associate degree while in high school, as did she. While others degrees have followed for both of us, that initial inspiration has carried me into adulthood. That is a sure sign of a good teacher! Care about the individual first.
Mindy was truly an inspirational teacher in my formative years growing up in the dance competition world. Her training with me was not easy! I loved to goof off! Carpet rides in the Fellowship Hall at Community…. Ha Ha….. Thanks Mindy!