by ERIN CONCANNON, Feis America Magazine contributor

Being a girl these days, we all feel pressure to look a certain way. Whether it is the way we dress or act, we are always under the spotlight. That rule especially goes for Irish dancers. We must look 100 percent glamorous all the time at competitions…even when we are beyond nervous.

The only true people who know how you feel about constantly being judged are your dance friends. Here are a few tips on learning to cope with the “friendly” competition.

1) Smile ’til your cheekbones hurt. A smile is worth a thousand words, minus all the talking. If you just smile to your friend(s) when they win, that lets them know how much you love and support them as dancers--and as true friends. You don’t have to always be No. 1, remember that!

2) Congrats! Saying congratulations to your friends who have won is always the best way to go. It’s a friendly, easy word. Put yourself in their shoes! If you won, you would want to be congratulated, too, right?

3) Focus on you. If you only ever focus on your dancing, you will survive in the dancer’s world. Don’t worry about what your friends are doing and focus on you. Being a busy body is a bad quality, and will only hurt you and your friendships in the end.

4) Don’t make a face. Giving your parents that look of disgust when you find out your bud has beaten you in competition won’t get you far in the friend department. Just nod and say good job, even if you are ticked with the results.

At the end of the day, remember that competitions come and go. But friendships last a lifetime…especially in the dancing world!

What’s one friendly tip you’d give to other dancing buds out there? Let us know.

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