Competition: Bad, Ugly or Good?

Friendly Competition

I’m thinking of the girls who are auditioning for summer intensives and such. I’m thinking of them in two ways - one, where the nice Christian girls are startled by the harsh competition “out there” that they don’t normally encounter. How can they approach this with a Biblical attitude? Not get overwhelmed by it? How could they maybe share their faith in subtle ways through how they handle this? Second - I think as Christians we tend to want to be so “nice” that we get afraid to have any sense of competition in the studio. However, perhaps this is an area for encouragement. Is there such a thing as friendly competition? Can this be helpful?

With the audition season upon us, it is important to have the discussion about what it means to be a Christian and participate in auditions.

Auditioning can be intimidating, but it can also oftentimes bring out the worst in us as we strive to outperform the girl next to us, over analyzing every movement and stressing about every misstep. How can we, as missionaries to the dance world, be mindful of our motivations and actions in auditions?

C.S. Lewis rightly pointed out that humility is neither an over-inflation nor under-inflation of the ego. We are not called to self-deprecation, so the answer to this is not to underestimate our own talents and abilities. However, we also cannot look like the world and fall into self promotion, seeking attention for attention’s sake. The happy medium that exists here can be found through a change in perspective or motivation. We cannot fret constantly over whether we are falling too much to the side of self promotion or self deprecation for this means our focus is inward, always on ourselves. Instead, the true answer is a focus outward and this is where the Christian ballerina brings focus to Christ. When our dancing, even in auditions… (the often most stressful and self-interested moments for the ballet dancer), can reflect what it is to worship God through art, we have already won.

There is a running theme throughout the Scriptures of the Law versus the Spirit.

Those who live by the letter of the Law, according to the Lord, will be judged by the Law. However, those who live by the Spirit cannot be judged by the Law. In the same way, you as Christian dancers can focus on technique alone, succumbing to the temptation toward idolizing the body and the opinions of others. However, you will be seen only as another dancer and judged accordingly. There is another way. To worship in dance places you above the fear and worry that strikes in an audition and allows you to be free.

Your witness to fellow dancers will be your calm and your strength. What do you have to fear from an audition? From the opinions of others? Even from rejection? You are a child of God, called to worship through dance, submitting every movement to Him.

This posts’ author, Rachel Hargis, is a former ballet dancer and graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Woman’s Ministry. Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts students are most likely to see Ms. Rachel on Monday nights, when she works as part of the Front Desk Team.