Photo courtesy of Jerry Almonte.
I’m going to go out there and…
(1) …win, so that I can get more teaching gigs. And thus travel more. And maybe do this full time someday.
(2) …get some outside proof of where I am compared to my peers.
(3) …work on the next thing on my competition skills practice list.
(4) …just have fun. And try not to care about the competition aspect of it.
(5) …just have fun. And try not to care about the competition aspect of it, but do so by secretly thinking that by not caring, I’ll dance better and
will place higher.
(6) … see what happens.
(7) …do what others before me have done to win.
(8) …beat my nemesis.
(9) …win, so that I can get some new confidence and self-respect.
(10) …try not to lose, so I won’t lose confidence and self-respect.
(11) …see if any of these judges know my name, so I have a hope of getting into finals.
(12) …try to get to a place where I can compete and not care what anyone else thinks.
(13) …actually get some floor space to dance, unlike during the social dances. This is an expensive way to go about it, but there you go.
(14) …win at this game called Modern Lindy Hop Competing by figuring out the rules and secret codes you need to beat it.
(15) …try to actually listen to the music and my partner — and actually listen.
(16) …try to smile.
(17) …try not to throw up.
(18) …look passionate and try to show my emotional investment in swing dancing, because I think I will place better if I do so.
(19) …look passionate and try to show my emotional investment in swing dancing, because that is what I feel about the dance and that is what I want to express.
(20) …let the alcohol relax my fears and inhibitions.
(21) …show them all.
(22)…not allow myself to get caught up in them. Competitions get a great deal of attention, but I will not allow them to pull my heart away from the incredibly powerful and rewarding experience of social dancing.
(23) …try to relax. Because it’s just a competition, right?
The goal was to simply and objectively give examples of the ways people approach competitions with no judgement on whether those ways are healthy or not. People can even be thinking of several of these or other approaches at the same time. They can even juggle both unhealthy and healthy attitudes. I think for most people, though, there is one or two dominant ones that really shape their competition experience. Further comments, including additions, welcome in the comments section.