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Competition, good or bad?

Life In Texas: Competition, good or bad?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Competition, good or bad?

     So last night, I stayed up way too late watching a "Dance Moms" marathon. I had never seen the show before last night. If you haven't seen it, here is my quick synopsis of the show.

     "Dance Moms" follows an extreme (in every way), dance teacher named Abby Lee Miller and about 6 of her students (ages 6 - 13) as they travel to dance competitions across the country. The dance moms are constantly fighting with Abby and with each other. The little girls are cute, good dancers and mostly, spoiled rotten.

     At one competition, Maddie (Abby's most promising dancer, undefeated at this point) meets her "rival". They two girls only talk for 5 minutes, tops. But the other girl's mom keeps saying "Remember, it's not about who wins, it's about who has the most fun."

     Seriously? Am I the only one that thinks that that is crap? If it's not about who wins, then why do you have your 8 year old in competitive dance? Why (by the time they get to age 8) have you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on classes, private lessons, costumes and travel if it's just about having fun? If that mom seriously believed that, then her kid would be dancing at some mom and pop studio for $40 a month instead of at a nationally known dance company where they pay 10 times as much.

     Also, what's wrong with it being all about winning? Since when was a little healthy competition a bad thing? When did our society get to the point that we need to make everyone feel like a winner? I know that it's been that way for a while, but it wasn't that way when I was a kid and I'm not convinced that making everyone a winner is the best thing for our kids. I want my kids to fight and work hard for what they want. Now, would I still love and support my kids even if they came in last place? You bet, as long as they did their best. If that mom had said "It doesn't matter who wins, as long as you both do your best.", I could have been on board with that. Having fun is important too, however, there are certain arenas to have fun and certain arenas to do your best. In the context of the show, I think that they were way beyond "having fun".

     So, which kid do you think won? The one with the coach that says "Who wants a mediocre kid?" at the beginning of every episode or the one with the mom that says "just have fun!"

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