Stress, dance, repeat

A look into the chaos of a dance competition.


Innovative Dance

Innovative Dance has been traveling to competitions for many years now. The studio and its owner Molly Kaleikilo are fairly well known across other companies.

The night before a competition is almost as chaotic and exciting as the day of. You have everyone running around to make sure that they have all of their costumes, everything they need for their hair, outfits, food, and drinks, and most importantly, you go through all your routines to make sure you know them before you fall asleep. 

Competitions are some of the longest days ever, waking up at 5 am and not getting home until 12:30-1am the next morning. Throughout the day it becomes extremely stressful, as you are running back and forth from the stage and dressing room, having to change costumes in less than five minutes. 

Lily Arzie, who is in the blue group at Innovative Dance, says, “it’s exhausting because costume changes prevent us from having more time to rehearse,” meaning they spend more time running to and from the stage than actually performing. 

Dance competitions are not only stressful and exciting for the students/dancers but also for the parents, teachers and faculty members. Molly Kaleikilo, the owner of Innovative Dance, says, “there’s a lot of stress as a teacher/owner because I want everyone to be as ready and prepared as possible.” This year will be her 24th year of going to competitions and she still feels like she’s going 100 miles an hour. She explains that not everything always goes to plan, for example a dance could be moved, leading to an even shorter costume change.

My dancers not only work hard to do the best they can, but also represent Innovative Dance with class, sportsmanship and teamwork.”

— Molly Kaleikilo

MDM article says that “stress can affect your performance in a good way too. It can help you when it makes you more alert.” Many dancers already are nervous the day before, but seeing everyone running around or hearing the awards of dancers before you can make it worse. The article also says that too much stress can be bad for you, but the perfect amount of stress can help you when you perform.