Totally depends on your goals. Joining your high school dance team can be a way to get great experience and have a blast doing it.
It can also be a commitment that takes time and energy away from more important activities. The trick is deciding what dancing on the high school dance team would mean to you and your dance goals. Make sure you have the right shoes for tryouts!
Know What Your Dance Goals Are
You can’t know if joining the school team is smart for you if you don’t know what your long term dance goals are.
If you are unsure about your goals or haven’t ever thought about what you want specifically, read my advice for becoming a dancer or ask your specific dance question and then come back and finish here.
Deciding what your dance goals are takes time, but it is a great investment that can keep you from floundering once you graduate.
What Does Your Dance Team Have to Offer?
(Dance teams do all sorts of styles at all different levels.)
It’s important to find out a little about your school’s dance team.
– What style do they do?
– What performance opportunities do they provide?
– What time commitment is involved?
– What have previous team members gone on to do?
– Do they offer student teaching or choreography opportunities?
If you don’t know, ask the team director. You could shoot her an e-mail explaining you interest and asking a few questions. If you are polite, she’ll probably be happy to respond.
Does Dancing on the Team Help Me to Reach My Dance Goals?
Once you know what your dance goals are and have information about the team you are ready to make some decisions.
– Would dancing on the high school team get me closer to my dance goals?
– Would it get me closer than any other opportunities I have available right now? (cheer, studio companies, theater)
– Would the time commitment prevent me from participating in other major opportunities?
– What are my top three motivations for wanting to dance on my high school team? (good experience, friends, notice at school)
Side Note: Be honest on this one. If the only reason you want to join the high school dance team because all your friends will be there, that could be a great reason! Just recognize that that is what you really want and that that is the benefit that you will get.
After thinking through these questions, the answer might be obvious. If you feel confident about taking this opportunity or sacrificing it for a different, more productive opportunity, start making plans! Go for it and know that you made a decision with your own best interest in mind! This is an accomplishment all on its own.
If you still just can’t decide, try making a pro/cons list and writing down all the positive things and negative things you can think of about joining the high school dance team.
This can be a hard decision, so don’t worry if it takes some time to figure out what you want. Meanwhile, make sure you have the right shoes for tryouts!
Every Experience is Valuable
A girl from my neighborhood danced at a contemporary studio. The high school team was also contemporary so it was a natural extension of her training. She ended up dancing on a professional contemporary company.Her high school team experience definitely helped her with her dancing goals.
I came from a ballet background and was interested in teaching ballet and dancing in college. Although it would have been fun, I decided that dancing on the school’s contemporary team would have been a distraction from what I really wanted. So instead I had the opportunity of dancing several ballet solos (including Cinderella!) on my studio ballet company. My experience helped me when I danced in college and then as professional modern dancer, and I use it all the time in my teaching.
Both experiences are good! Even if we had made different decisions, I think we both would have ended up just as happy. So don’t stress too much. Just do what you think will make you happy.
One Word of Warning
In my opinion, the only way joining your high school dance team can be a bad decision is if it puts a big stress on your time. The only thing that can kill a potentially good experience is not having the time and energy to get the most out of it. If you are too busy, no matter what you do, it won’t be fun.
Make sure dancing on the school dance team doesn’t fall into this category.