It’s embarrassing to admit butI am totally hooked on Dance Moms, and now, Abby’s Ultimate Dance
Competition! So in an attempt to rationalize watching it, I have picked out some good lessons you can
get out of watching the show!!!
Lesson # 1 – Handling competition: The kids who are making it have learned how to handle adversity
before and failure . The kids who are falling apart are those who have always been told they are great,
who have been popular and successful in their world. When faced with more rigorous competition or
with dancers who are better than they are , they choke. Instead of digging down
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or ramping up their
game ,they crumble under the pressure .
Lesson #2- Listen to feedback and learn from your mistakes: The dancers who are listening to critiques
and applying them to their next performance move on and those who don’t , who keep doing what they
always did, who think they are “there”, get eliminated.
Lesson # 3-
It is not always enough to have talent or ability . I always tell my clients that just being
good at the job is often not enough. You need to pay attention to the “soft skills”; the social skills, the
emotional IQ, the ability to “read the room”, to show your passion, and use everything you have to
For example ,there are kids who move on every week even though they may not have the best
technical skills. They have charm, energy, personality, something, that makes the judges want to give
them a chance. It’s human nature for the judges to like and to root for certain people over others and
the thing that gives you another chance might be your soft skills!
Lesson # 4 – Negative feedback is not that effective. As a life coach trained in solution- focused
methods, this is not a surprise, but it is fun to see it played out on TV! Compare the debilitating
effect of Abby’s totally negative criticism to Richy’s balanced comments . Although he is very direct,
he balances the critical with praise . He uses the “Oreo” sandwich cookie method of giving a positive,
the critical, and finishes with another positive. The effect on the kids is that they seem to blossom
and work to try harder to improve their next performance .
So I guess I am not wasting my time watching tacky TV . There is a lot to be learned !