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e-Research: A Journal of Undergraduate Work

Authors

Samantha Sobash

Abstract

"Competition is a social process that is so pervasive in Western civilization that no one can escape it" (Robson 2004). Dance training for most people begins at an early age, and thus the art form akin to sports introduces youth to competition. The booming dance competition industry has only enhanced the competitive aspect of the art form. Currently there are upwards of 200 local, regional, and national competitions held annually with participants as young as four years old. Is competition innate or are we introducing it as part of youth development in the Western world? Youth are increasingly pushed by society towards activity specialization which only limits their ability to develop as well-rounded individuals. This study aims to evaluate the dominant motivations for youth to participate in dance competitions. Also encourage people: dance educators, dancers and dance parents to recognize how competition actively affects the psychological and social maturity of young dancers as people in positive and negative ways.

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