In a culture of competition, artistry and creativity have been lost in many ways. Competition can reduce dancing to tricks and formulas with temporary rewards of trophies and bragging rights. Trophies gather dust and there will always be someone who comes along that is better. The dance competition world is very specific in style and trends, which can limit growth for the dancer, the choreographer and a studio/company. Competition fosters a false sense of "what's out there" for a dancer who rarely performs in any other venue than that of being in front of peers and judges. The dancer pays to be seen and to be judged, and their value as a dancer is defined by those experiences. This would include conventions, which are highly competitive as well. Dancers become technicians, rather than artists. They dance for the thrill of being noticed, rather than the joy of expression and giving.
True artistry, which is always based on a solid foundation of technique, knowledge and understanding of movement and mechanics is a slower, methodical road. The rewards are not as immediate, but have deeper meaning and longevity. Professional dance education prepares a dancer for a life time of artistry, opening up a multitude of possibilities for expression in a wide variety of venues (concert, commercial, theatre, classroom, film). Being an artist is more than performing....it's about sharing what you love with others, giving a part of yourself on stage and in the classroom, challenging borders, fostering new ideas, creating and always evolving.