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Helping Dancers Deal With Disappointment

Article sourced from Dance Advantage Written by

It’s happened. Maybe you were afraid of this. Or, maybe it blindsided you but… it’s happened. Your daughter didn’t make the dance team. Your son was passed over for the scholarship. Your child didn’t get the part or solo or moment in the sun for which he/she worked so hard.

Now what? Your son is hurting. Your daughter comes to you crying. S/he may look to you to make it all better.

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt


Parent your child through this setback and support them in becoming a more resilient and confident human being. When your child is faced with a letdown, you have a great opportunity to encourage your son or daughter to face and rise above the obstacles that come their way. It may not feel like a gift but it is.


Fix it. As a parent, your first instinct may be to try. However, just as it is a parent’s role to help his baby become proficient in feeding himself, assist her preschooler in learning to use a potty, and teach her grade-school child to tie his shoelaces, it is a parent’s often unhappy duty to give a blossoming young adult the tools they need to cope with disappointment.

That’s Life

This article from Parent magazine is meant for parents of young children. However, as I researched this issue across age groups, the methods for helping children deal with disappointment listed in the article, were corroborated. I have adapted many of them to fit the situation your pre-teen or teen dancer may be facing.

A. Gauge Your Child’s Resiliency

Does your child tend to take things personally? Does she usually have a positive outlook? This article, Helping Kids Handle Rejection & Disappointment, has a handy 5-question quiz that will help you place your child’s resiliency.

At this time, it may also be a good idea to make a mental note about how YOU feel about your child’s setback. As the above article so rightly states: “Your attitude can make a huge difference to how a child reacts. If you see rejection or disappointments as problems then your child will be hamstrung by this view.”

B. Tailor Your Tactics

When it is a BIG Deal

1. Validate the emotions.

“I know you are disappointed. It’s okay. I would be too.”

2. Help him recognize what can and cannot be changed.

What can be changed, of course, are the things regarding self, including one’s attitude. What cannot be changed are the actions and decisions of others. Despite hard work and determination and talent sometimes you just don’t get what your heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. Those that move on and continue to work hard are the ones that fulfill the adage that “if you work hard or set your mind to something, you can be anything you want to be.”

3. Redirect her attention toward something in which she is (or is likely to be) successful.

She will likely see through empty or untrue sentiments about why she was unsuccessful or how she was wronged. No matter how small, a real boost to the ego will be much more effective. What comes easily to her that doesn’t for everyone? What has she been recognized for in the past? What activity might be more suited for her qualities and talents?

4. Don’t punish or belittle his negative reaction.

After all, everyone needs to let it out sometimes.

5. Offer choices or alternatives

Help her realize that though she didn’t make the team or get the part she wanted, that she still gets to dance. She has the freedom to take some extra classes elsewhere, or in another style, or during a summer workshop. These are things that may improve her chances next time but, more importantly, they will strengthen, improve, and challenge her. Alternatively, she may have time to spend on favorite activities or pursue other interests outside of dance. Ask what she wants to do now. How does she want to proceed from here? What can be most disruptive about disappointment is the feeling of having no control over a situation. Choice can help your child regain that feeling of having a say.

6. Put it in perspective

Volunteer at a hospital, help her organize a dance performance at a nursing home, work together at a soup kitchen, walk for charity. Find or do something that helps your child recognize how fortunate they are and reduces her “big deal” to its proportional size in the scheme of things.

7. Let her solve it on her own.

Once again, resist trying to fix things. Even if she wants you to come to her rescue, resist the urge to pacify her hurt by taking action or dwelling upon things that cannot be changed (a studio director’s decision, the reality of another child’s skills or talent, the criteria for recognition by another…). This is not easy but children are often more resilient than we give them credit. Though kids of all ages may be quick to dramatize their displeasure, many bounce right back. Look carefully at your child for cues, don’t bring up their disappointment if, by the next day, all seems right with the world again. Accept that your child may have recovered more quickly than you have!

Want more coping methods? Try How To Overcome Disappointment

Your good example will make a world of difference

Watch what you say: “I’m sorry you didn’t get 1st place at the competition. What did the 1st place team do well? What do you think you’ll work on for next time?” (What to avoid saying: “I can’t believe you didn’t win! You were the best dancer there! The judges are clueless.” or “Next time you need to point your toes. Your pirouettes were the worst I’ve ever seen you do. What were you thinking?’)

Tell what you did: Share your experiences with disappointment, what you learned from them, where failures led you, how you felt and what you did to overcome.

Be careful what you do: How do you react when you face disappointment or failure or frustration? Do you throw a tantrum at the checkout when the clerk makes a mistake? Do you gripe about your boss when you don’t get a promotion? Do you quit when the going gets rough? Behavior like this sends a message to your child.

When to step in

Is there a time when you should step in to solve something for your child? My short answer is almost never.

If you feel like you absolutely must act on his/her behalf, you may want to read How to Discuss Problems With Your Studio Director and Be Heard.

When it comes to decisions about roles or teams, however, it is important to realize that work ethic and even abilities are not the sole criteria from which directors cast their shows or teams. You may disagree with the specifications but it is within a director’s right to select and judge based upon a standard of his/her choosing.

You might approach him with a desire to know and understand his process but demanding he defend a decision does not put you or your child at an advantage. (Think about it: How or under what circumstances would you demand this of a prospective employer that passed you over for a job? What about your current employer if you were not selected for promotion?)

When your son/daughter receives a “no thank you,” your goal is to gain understanding so that you might help your child cope with the decision. The director will see through attempts of getting your child on the team or winning your dancer that role if that is your underlying ambition and you’ll hit a roadblock if it is.

When hard work doesn’t pay off

(I’ll repeat) Occasionally, despite hard work and determination your child may not always get what her heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. You and your child both must accept this truth and look for the positive in every disappointment.

In addition, when it comes to hard work, attitude, or any other virtue, what a person deserves is not always what he will get. Thank goodness I don’t always get what I deserve because sometimes I don’t deserve what I get!

Accomplishments ≠ Who We Are

It is sometimes easy to confuse our accomplishments and awards with who we are. In our culture we place a lot of emphasis on the achievements for which a person has been recognized – she is a two-time Olympic medalist; he is a famous actor who has won numerous stage and screen awards. These things say little of who a person really is. In addition, these recognitions only look back never forward.

Who is this dancer becoming?

In children especially, where one is going should matter a whole lot more than where one has been. Accomplishments and met goals are how we develop self-confidence in our abilities, however, we are not defined by our achievements. In fact, often we are shaped more by our failures. They are a good test of how badly we want something. They can also set us on new, more appropriate paths. It is despite and sometimes because of obstacles or disappointments that we become a dancer, a doctor, or something completely opposite but all the more right than whatever it is we want (or wanted) to be.

(This article was taken directly from )

Why Students NEED The Basics Of Acro Dance To Progress To Advanced Tricks 👈

Acro is an amazing dance class that compliments many dance styles today. Acro students want to do the big tricks…NOW!! It’s the age old dilemma where students don’t want to be patient, they want instantaneous pazzazz. 

Acro is progressive. A cartwheel progresses to a side aerial, which progresses to a front aerial. A bridge kick-over progresses to a back walkover, which progresses to a back handspring.

At Stepnout Performing Arts we don’t want our students to jump ahead to the “big” acro tricks before mastering the basics first? In every dance style out there, the foundations are the most important part to becoming a fantastic dancer. Acro is no different and the basics (foundations) are the only way students will truly master tricks and be able to perform them in routines correctly & with utmost safety.

Please have your budding Acro students read this article so they spend their energy striving to master the basics to be able to do spectacular tricks in the future. We want our students to reach their goals but, most importantly, we want them to be safe and healthy! 

Happy reading!

Why Students NEED The Basics Of Acro Dance To Progress To Advanced Tricks

Article sourced from

Featured images sourced from Stepnout 2019 Studio photo shoot


7 Skills to Teach your Daughter by Age 13

I have subscribed to a great website called A Mighty Girl. As a parent of a pre-teen daughter I’m always interested to find out what others believe and do to see how it fits with our lives. Sometimes I read and disregard other times I take more notice. 

This article caught my eye as it has some great tips on how to prepare our future leaders for tomorrow. I hope you can find some time in your busy schedule to check it out.


7 Skills to Teach your Daughter by Age 13

Article sourced from

Featured image sourced from Stepnout 2019 Studio photo shoot

6 Reasons Dance Training Makes Us Better Human Beings

“Every year we remind the kids that in academic schooling not moving up to the next grade every year is seen as a failure but in the arts, it is normal to stay in a level for multiple years as you perfect your skills. Every year there are kids who don’t move up and are upset. But they soon realize that moving to the next level comes with mastery of a certain set of techniques and mastering those techniques takes hard work.” 

As we have been enrolling students into classes for 2020 we remind all our families of the amazing benefits dance has for their children now and into their future. This article offers some brilliant reasons why dancing makes us better Human Beings. Please share this ARTICLE with the dances in your world.

Quote and Article sourced from

Images from Stepnout archives

Rude, Mean, or Bullying? A Child Therapist Defines the Differences

Bullying is such an important issue in society today but we don’t want to confuse rude and mean behaviour with bullying. I believe that it is very important that parents understand the difference so we can help our children distinquish the behaviour correctly.

I hope you find this blog sourced from helpful too.

Rude, Mean or Bullying? A child therapist defines the difference

Quote sourced from constantdrama

Dancing Benefits Brain Function Teamwork and Health, According to a Neuroscience Ph.D. It doesn’t even matter if you do it badly or well.

“What’s a quick, easy way to improve your mood, productivity, brain function, and physical health? Take a five-minute dance break.”

How simple and yet very productive life would be if we all did this. Everyone would be a “Happy Little Vegemite!”

“Dance is a fantastic thing to do in the workplace because it benefits you and your employees in four different ways.” Click Here to find out more.

As one who advocates dance always I believe this article needs to be shared with those in charge, school principals or anyone in authority. Helping the masses helps yourself. Enjoy!

Article and image sourced from

How To Improve Your Performance With Your Eyes Closed

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of – improving your performance with your eyes closed – but how do we harness the power of mental imagery in reality?

Click Here to find out “Just like The BFG, you too could have your own ‘workshop’, filled with mental imagery that you can draw on when you’re in need… or when you just want to practice your latest performance piece while you’re doing daily tasks.”

Please share this great article with the dancers in your family.

Article and image sourced from

The Basics of Overcoming Stage-Fright and Performance Anxiety

As we draw closer to our concert season and rehearsals are in full swing, some students begin to show signs of Performance anxiety and stage fright. Everyone, including staff experiences some anxiety in the lead up to competitions and concerts. The way you deal with this anxiety and stage fright makes all the difference.




Click here to read about 4 great strategies to overcome the anxiety and have a great experience. Please share this article with all the performers in your family form the tallest to the tiniest. Don’t forget your dance dads that have signed on to be part of our Dads dance.




Article sourced from

Feature images sourced from Stepnout Performing Arts archives

How To Break A Negative Thought Loop


Article written by Darius Foroux and copied from

Sometimes a small thing disturbs me. Somebody might say something that rubs me the wrong way. I might get a minor injury that prevents me from working out. Something at work might go wrong. 

Do you know that feeling? Before you know it, you’re questioning everything about your life, career, health, or relationship.

You do everything to resist the situation. You try to fix it. You feel compelled to address the disturbance. But here’s the thing, you don’t control the disturbance. 

That frustrates you even more. Now, you’re getting sucked in by negative thoughts. At this point, something that started as a small annoyance became a big life problem. 

You feel like quitting your job or relationship. You feel like everything works against you. And that nothing is worth it. 

That’s a negative thought loop. I’ve experienced that very often. And I bet you have too. Why do we experience this? 

It’s about control. We think life should be a certain way. In other words, we want everything to happen the way we want. And if it doesn’t, we flip out. Negative thought loops often start when something comes to an end. Have you noticed that? 

Filling The Void

Look, everything in life comes to an end. Your job, business, career, relationships, friendships, and so forth. And every time something comes to an end in our life, it’s like a little death. Something dies and leaves a void inside us. 

This event by itself is neither good or bad. It’s the nature of life. We can turn endings into bad things by trying to replace the thing that left our life. For example, when a relationship ends, a lot of people try to fill the void by taking on more work.

I’ve done that as well. All the time and energy you spent on the relationship becomes free when it ends. And because you don’t want to feel alone, you try to fill the void by working more. You want to set higher goals and do a better job. 

But that’s only you escaping reality. The truth is that endings suck. But it’s also a natural part of life. We should not resist change. Some things, we can’t replace in life. 

If you lose your job, you can’t simply replace working by spending more time with your spouse. And yet, that’s exactly what many of us do. We either lose our job or fail at work and we think, “Now I can at least spend more time with my family.”

You’re trying to fill the void. But that takes too much energy. And when some minor thing disturbs you, it causes your foundation to shake. Why? Because your foundation was weak all this time.

Everything Has Its Place

You can’t fill a relationship void with work or exercise. You can’t fill a health void with alcohol or drugs. You can’t fill a work void with spirituality. 

You need to catch yourself when you’re trying to escape reality. And that’s one of the hardest things in life. Too often, people live their entire life in denial. We can’t let that happen. We need to look inward. 

I can tell you from personal experience that’s very hard. I always struggle when something in my life ends. My first response is always to find a replacement. But I’ve learned that everything has its place.

You can’t replace your friends with your boyfriend or girlfriend. You can’t replace exercise with working more. You need to allocate the right amount of time and energy to all aspects of life.

Thousands of years of evolution has shown us that human beings have similar needs. We need safety, support, relationships, joy, perspective, and something useful to do with our time. That’s true for every person. 

When you recognize that simple fact about life, it forces you to take a helicopter view. You need to elevate your perspective on your life. When you’re stuck in a negative thought cycle, you have zero perspective. You’re consumed by your thoughts.

You need to force yourself to look at life in general. Not just your current situation. Look at life’s nature—it’s about motion. 

Letting Go

Michael A. Singer, an entrepreneur who once ran a large software company, and the author of The Untethered Soul, summarized the concept of letting go well:

“It’s pretty black-and-white. You either let go or you don’t.”

He speaks from experience. Singer was prosecuted by the Department of Justice for securities fraud. During that time, he risked losing it all. 

Eventually, all charges against him were dropped and his name was cleared, but he let go of it way before that. In fact, he wrote The Untethered Soul while he was being prosecuted. 

If a person who’s facing the risk of losing it all can let go, you and I also can. People often come up with all kinds of excuses. They say it’s easier said than done and that letting go is not easy.

No one said it’s easy. We all have our own challenges and obstacles. Sometimes people try to convince others that they are really having a hard time. Honestly, no one cares. You let go for yourself

So if you’re stuck inside a negative thought loop, know that you only have two options:

  1. You continue and let it destroy you
  2. You let go and move on

The choice is yours. And yes, it’s that simple. Decide between those two options and see for yourself.

To view this article on Darius Foroux’s website please click here
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