Sportsmanship in DanceSport - John Wood

by S H Wong (Dr)

Sportsmanship in competitive dancing is something we must all learn to cultivate. Every competition is different. The organizer is different and the judges are also very different. To win or lose in a competition can affect the dancers adversely. But, no matter what the outcome of the competition, we must always remain sporting.

Judging a competition can be very subjective. A lot of adjudication is influenced by many factors. Nevertheless, as competitive dancers, we must try to build a strong immunity against these personal biases.

We should not allow the judges in influence our performance. We must continue to dance and perform our best. Only then can we improve our dancing and rating.

If you dance and perform well, no judge will have the gall to mark you out. You command the floor and you command the competition. He has no choice but to mark you in.

Sportsmanship is not only about winning. It is also about friendship. The best friends are made on the dance floor. On the other hand, the worst enemies are also created on the same floor.

Under no circumstances must we antagonize one another and get ourselves involved in the politics of competitive dancing. We must be able to stand firm, strong and tall on our own, above the pettiness of rival schools and teachers.

Sportsmanship is also about the ability to take defeat graciously. We must be able to congratulate the winners and better dancers, sharing with them their moments of triumph and joy.

We must not be disillusioned with our defeats, but strive to work harder and perform better in subsequent competitions.

Being sporting also requires a certain amount of humility. When we win a competition, we must not display our arrogance and snobbery. We must learn to behave graciously and humbly on the winning rostrum thanking all our fellow competitors.

In short, Sportsmanship means friendship, humility and graciousness. We must be sensitive to the feelings of other fellow dancers and we should avoid hurting their pride and self-esteem.

We must be polite and respectful. We must maintain our social graces at all times. We may be arch rivals during the competition, but we are friends once off the dance floor.

In the M Y Dance Club, we are very fortunate to have members from the various dance schools in Singapore dancing and practicing together in peach and harmony. This is an excellent example of good sportsmanship. Keep it on, M Y Dance Club!

** M Y Dance Club is one of the dance clubs formed in Singapore which shows a strong passion for international ballroom dancing. Many of the club members are competitors themselves in various international ballroom dance categories and have participated in numerous competitions in Asia region.

This article was published on Wednesday 18 September, 1996.
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