In the dance world we harbour fairly big egos. There has to be some sense of ego to want to put yourself out on the stage to be judged whether officially or through side comments by spectators. Egos help us to have the courage to expose ourselves to these situations.
They fire the desire to compete as well. This can be healthy when it pushes us to better ourselves. It can be unhealthy when it becomes in-fighting. It’s one thing to have an ego and be a soloist. It is another to have an inflated ego and be a partner or part of a team. If our ego inflates to the point where we feel it is me against everyone else, that is harmful in the partner and team environment.
We have to remember when we step on the stage with others, we are exposing ourselves together. People are going to remember the partnership or team more than they will the individual. Those spectating are judging based on the relationship and precision between performers rather than rooting for an individual. If one fails, the others do too. That’s the nature of the game. We truly are in it together.
If there is a variety of calibre in one group, the dancing has to be matched between individuals. If there is a long term professional on the team and a newbie, the spectator need not know the difference. If someone can lift her leg to her nose and the remainder can only lift their legs to their belly buttons, the belly buttons will win to make the team look the same during precision movements. This is part of how teams work in the sense that we are in it together.
It can be hard to watch when your team has put their heart and soul into a precision piece and it falls apart on stage – be it in different styling between individuals, different heights of tricks, or different interpretations of the music. Anything that is different in a precision piece will show up. It takes meticulous practice to produce a precision piece that is just that. Precise. There will be imprecise performances along the way and that is part of the learning process. It can be an ego bruising situation, but every hiccup teaches us more about how we can be better together. The hiccups need to draw the team closer to go forward as a stronger group. It just takes patience and putting the ego aside. Learning this is half the fun of team participation.