It interests me that in dance it is often the case that a current champion or successful competitor is booked to give a lecture to dance teachers or their students. And why is this? Do current champions know how to help others become champions or is it more likely that they just know their own experience of how they became champions?
If we ask ourselves whether these current competitors have the knowledge, skills and understanding about how to teach or coach others to success in competition then the answer is likely to be in the negative. After all at the height of their own competitive career they are rightly focused on their own performance and not how to improve the performances of others. And this is why it is puzzling that so often we find that organisers of events book the competitor to give lecturers to dance teacher and/or their dance students about developing their performance to a higher competitive level. Can these individual competitors know how to help others achieve what they have achieved? Or is it more likely that as a top competitor, a champion dancer, can really only be expected to be able to share their own, personal story of becoming a champion dancer?
Where a particular dancer’s success is admired then should we not be looking to book the coach of that dancer to give a lecture about his or her approaches to coaching dancers to success in competition? Surely dance coaches or teachers who have worked successfully with many dancers at a high level of competition have something to share with other coaches and teachers? It may be that one dancer has access to a team of coaches and teachers such as someone who focuses on the technical dance aspects, another who looks at the psychology of performance and building mental toughness, another who focuses on the fitness aspects and so on. All of this should be interesting to dance teachers who want their competitors to succeed.
Perhaps if we engage for lectures, the coaches, the teachers and others who contribute to success in dance competition then we will gain better insight into winning ways that can be utilised in many dance schools for the benefit of tomorrow’s champions.
Today’s champions might be tomorrow’s successful coaches but when they are at the height of their competitive career it should be appreciated that they should be focused on their own performances and not wondering how to improve the performances of their rivals or indeed others within the competitive dance arena.
Perhaps next time someone is being booked to give a lecture on success in dance competition, the coaches or teachers of the successful competitive dancers will be considered for the job. For they are the ones who have something to tell us about how to coach top competitive dancers.