How To Cope With Not Making Your "Dream" Dance Team

Training Tips

How To Cope With Not Making Your "Dream" Dance Team

Jessie Ma
January 23, 2024
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You've watched every single one of their performances on YouTube. Heck, maybe even left a comment or two. You stalk their social media channels religiously. You study their team members in a class. "Wow, they're so good. I could look like that too, right?" You have, for years, fantasized about sharing the stage with your "DreamTeam." One day.

See Article: How To Make Your Dream Dance Team

Come auditions, after much fake-deliberation with your friends (because you knew there was no way you'd miss this chance), all 10 nails freshly bitten off, you fight every ounce the anxiety, determined to give your all. Learning. Groups. Freestyling your pants off. You leave your heart on the floor throughout the entire arduous process. Then you go home and wait. You daydream. You worry. You pray. Only to find out a week later that you didn't make the cut. It's a devastating feeling. A devastation made up of denial, disappointment, self-doubt and overall down-ness. All the bad D's. But, we have to Deal. But there are multiple ways to look at the situation – ways that will realign your focus and help you realize that your "Dream" goes beyond any team. Here are 4 things to help you.

"Everything happens for a reason." Well, what was it?

I don't believe that life runs in accordance to the universe's edict – that some ultimate plan for all its living creatures justifies anything and everything that happens.

The world is just too messy. Random.

But when it comes to something as black and white as making or not making a team, there are, indeed, reasons why.

And you can very well find out those reasons.

Talk to the directors / whomever was on the audition panel. Ask them why you didn't make it.

Selecting future members of your family isn't something that's done by a magic 8-ball; there's a lot thought that goes into that deliberation process.

See Related Article: How To Know If A Dance Team Is The Right Fit For You

Maybe it had nothing to do with skill. Maybe it had nothing to do with your personality. Maybe they see your style as fit for a different team. Maybe they stress a different mission for their team than what yours is.

You don't know until you ask.

So you didn't make the team. Not this year, anyway. But if you plan on re-auditioning the next time around, you'll have a huge advantage by improving in the areas that kept you from it this year.

Or, if their reasoning helps you see that the best thing for you might not be that team... Well, they did you a huge favor.

OR, if their answers don't really serve you in those ways, at least the transparency will make you feel more at peace with the situation.

People don't get as upset over results as they do over not being able to understand it.

If you're wondering, ask. Find that reason for yourself.

See Related Article: The Dancer’s Code Of Conduct: Tips To Cultivate Positive Dancer Relationships

Be in a state of perfecting, not of perfection

When I was 13, I was convinced that if I got my ears pierced, I'd be happy forever. Nothing could stop me and my silver hoops. NOTHING!

Obviously, that was not the case.

It's a cutesy example, but it illustrates how susceptible we are to believing that "Once I do/have ____, I'll be happy."

"If I lose 5 pounds, I'll be happy.""If I make this team, I'll be happy.""If I win this competition, I'll be happy."

But this is a fallacy.

Thinking that achieving some state of perfection is going to make you happy is simply untrue.

In the real world, there IS NO. SUCH. THING. AS "PERFECTION." It just doesn't exist.

And you know what? It doesn't matter. F@#% perfection!

If you focus on that, you're going to be living, constantly, in an injurious state of self-invented disappointment.

Here's a more realistic thought:

You're always on a journey. You're always striving. You're always perfectING. Never perfect.

With that said, shift your focus,

From: that "dream team" as your final destination –> To: your continuous journey as a dancer.

Instead of dwelling on being on the team VS not being on the team, think about the ways that you want to grow, and how you can still do that, WITH OR WITHOUT that team.

See Related Article: How To Keep The Best Physical Condition When You Don’t Have Rehearsals

Here are some visual representations of this point:


Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 7.51.11 PM


Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 7.47.29 PM

(These images were taken from "Success Is A Continuous Journey," a TED talk given by Richard St. John)

Focus on what's been gained, not lost.

There is a silver lining on every cloud. The cloud of not making that team could come with so many silver linings that you probably don't even immediately recognize.

Of course, it's not bad and not at all unnatural to be upset.

By all means allow yourself to feel how you feel. It's important to candidly address the thing that sucked, instead of being in this illusory state of unconcern.

Be sad. Be salty. Be whatever you wanna be.

For a little bit.

Just don't get stuck in that cloud. You have to decide to not let that negativity win.

Instead, be excited about each mistake by seeing them as learning opportunities.

Maybe this gives you a chance to audition for a team where growth comes more comfortably. Maybe you'll audition for one that's completely out of your comfort zone. Maybe you just got more familiar with an audition process in general. Maybe this made you realize that you don't even want to be on that team. Maybe this frees up time for you to exercise your artistic license outside of a team setting.


See Related Article: 5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself As A Dancer

These silver linings can be as infinite as you let them be – as long as you choose to grow from the experience.

You may have lost the opportunity to be on some team for this one season, but who knows what you gained in opportunity cost?

No one knows! Go find out!

Get over the infatuation with the concept of ONE "Dream Team"

Being hung up on a team you haven't even experienced for yourself is the relationship equivalent to getting your heart broken by someone you weren't even dating.

It sounds insensitive, but it's true. You may have been infatuated with the idea of being on this team, but you can't say that you lost something that you never had.

I once thought I loved a team.. or, more accurately, I thought I knew enough about a certain team to love it. But I only truly fell in love with it after experiencing it for myself.

All the history, the rituals, the team culture and dynamic. All the inside jokes and heartfelt talks, the dedication in each member.

I also learned about the not-so pleasant parts, like leadership discord, gossip, hookup drama, bad-blocking-butthurt-ness. Everything. I saw and felt everything, and truly, deeply fell in love with the team for what it was.

See Article: If Your Dance Team Was A Woman…This Is How She Would Make You Feel

But the first time I auditioned for 220, I didn't even make it past the first cut. I was devastated, naturally.

But I realize, after having actually been on it, that I was only devastated with the idea of what I had lost, without even knowing what "it" was.

My point is – this one team could be your "Dream Team," sure. Keep at it, and I wish you the best.

But for now, don't think of it as such a loss. Nothing was given and taken from you, no matter how much you feel like you deserved it.

It can be a blow to your ego or mess up your future plans, but this all stems from that "infatuation"-y type of interest in the team.

If your true passion is rooted in dance, keep dancing... And who knows how your definition of the "Dream Team" will evolve over time.

Do you, and you'll find your own path – in the most genuine and satisfactory ways.

At the end of the day, give props to yourself for even putting yourself out there. Any and every audition is a scary and exhausting process, and each auditionee is commendable simply for showing up! Hopefully these concepts help if you are trying to move past not making a team. You can keep that fire for dance burnin' no matter what.Keep tuning back in for more tips and support!

This article was originally published on October 6, 2015. Have you experienced the disappointment of not making it onto a dance team? What were some things that helped you get past it? Comment below and share with us! Team or no team, never stop making moves. You can even train in the comfort of your own home, anytime, with STEEZY Studio! Start becoming a better dancer now!