Men and women dancing bachata together on stage

Should dancers compete or collaborate?

Many dancers think that competition is a must in their work field. But is this really the best way to go? There are pros and cons to both approaches. Competing can be great for dancers who want to improve their skills and become the best they can be. This is a benefit only for people who are driven by competition. Their pattern of thinking is – in order to achieve greater results, I should compare myself with others and try to become better than they are. But this could be a pathway full of stress.

Check out our today’s video, Marco and Sara are known in Bachata word for making great collaboration projects with other professional dancers and this one is just a perfect example of it.

In dance environment this way of thinking is predominant, especially because of how things worked lately. There are a lot of shows based on competition, a lot of national and international festivals that are encouraging competition. However, competing with other people, especially in a creative field like dancing, can lead to low self-esteem and depression. When you compare yourself with another human being it is a nonsense from the beginning, because we are all unique and we can’t look or move like another person. It only creates a lot of stress and puts a lot of pressure on us. And it leads to low creativity and lack of self-confidence.

Two young women dancing on stage

On the other hand, mental health professionals recommend us to find our own voice, and collaborate with others, not to compete because collaboration gives us a lot more benefits. Let’s find out what are they:

  1. Reduces stress: Collaborating with others can reduce stress because when you are in a stressful situation, sharing your feelings with others makes you more relaxed and reduces your anxiety levels. Being in a friendly atmosphere gives you a sense of being safe which helps you release the tension in your body and relax your mind. That leads to a better performance as a dancer.
  2. Helps us to embrace our uniqueness: When we feel safe to be authentic, we are able to dive deeper into our personal talents, skills, abilities and strengths. Thus, we become more creative and are able to generate new ideas. This way we evolve as a performer and/or choreographer.
  3. Shares freely experiences, talents and knowledge: Collaboration allows us to learn from others and share our knowledge. And it can be a great source of inspiration and new ideas. This way we are able to see things differently and we are all evolving. It’s a win, win situation.
  4. Helps to get a sense of community: Collaboration also gives us a space where we feel safe and welcomed to share our ideas without fear of judgement. As dancers we need to have a sense of community to feel that we belong and that we are part of a group. When we feel that we are loved and seen for who we are, we are able to be more open to feedback and less defensive about constructive criticisms because our vulnerability is being acknowledged and respected by others. This way we can sharpen our dance skills, we are able to create freely and grow faster together.
  5. Creates a synergy effect: When we unify our efforts, talents, skills and creativity we create greater results, it’s a synergy effect. This is one of the main rules of mother nature, this is how new life is created.

Finally, collaborating with others can help us to build strong relationships that support our growth as artists. So, I believe that collaboration should be the main way of growing as dancers. It leads to the creation of deeper bonds within the artistic community and opens up doors for more opportunities and growth.

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