Becoming an alumnus of a dance team is not easy.

Parking lots. Tech time. 3 am eats. Bonding. Choreo days. Costumes. Circle ups. Competitions.

Whether it’s jumping into a demanding career, moving to a new city or parenting a newborn child, most of you will arrive to a point where we have to bid farewell to the world of (competitive) dance.

That means saying goodbye to a set of experiences deeply unique and meaningful to you. Leaving a culture and lifestyle that you grew not just familiar, but intimate with.

The studio you consider a second home. The adrenaline on deck moments before taking the stage. Long nights sharing secrets with teammates that became family…

You’ll watch our old teammates form new bonds with rookies and it’ll be comparable to knowing an ex has found a new lover. Competitions will serve as a bittersweet reminder of your glory days, making you feel like a washed-up superhero…

Granted, we’re being melodramatic, but surely you can relate.

It’s hard to say goodbye.

As with any departures from the big things in life, however, there are ways to ease in the transition.

Here are a few tips to survive becoming an alumnus of a dance team.

1. Dance whenever, however you can

Just because you’re not competing anymore doesn’t mean you must stop dancing altogether.

Even as you become an alumnus of a dance time, you can still fit dance into your life.

Working a lot? Read this: How To Keep Dancing When You Work Full Time

That could mean freestyling every time you pass by a mirror. Or simply continuing to take classes at a studio near you.

You can go beyond that and join a project or exhibition team, which is usually less demanding than your average competitive team.

Not sure how they’re different? Want To Know Why Dancing On A Project Is So Unique?

Dancing on a competitive team isn’t the only way you can still dance!

 

2. Find a new passion!

When we leave from competing, we get a lot of our time back that was otherwise spent on rehearsing.

Use this recovered time to do other things you’ve been wanting to try.

Interested in cooking? Archery? Rock climbing, yoga, calligraphy?? Try it all!

Whatever you do, just don’t lay in bed and scroll through your phone.

You’ll probably see posts of your old team hanging out without you. That’ll hurt.

 

3. Give back to the dance community

Although you don’t compete anymore, you’re still part of the dance community.

You can produce and edit other dancers’ videos, join in on the promotional efforts for workshops and competitions, visit your old dance team and meet new faces…

There are many ways to give back and remain in the community.

Like this! How To Positively Contribute To The Dance Community

Think about how to use your time, skills, and talents to help further its evolution.

 

4. And most importantly – Smile because it happened 

Be happy that our community is ever-evolving.

Get excited for the rookies who will experience the same good things you did.

The world we know is still here to stay – only we’re not playing center stage anymore.

Alumnus of a dance team or currently competing, we are all a part of the same story.

At least we had our chapter. Smile because it happened.

 

If you decide to keep dancing competitively when you start your next chapter in life, that’s absolutely fantastic.

But if you don’t… it’s okay. You won’t be alone on that decision. Many of us are already there.

So if you’re into your last few months with your team (I’m looking at you, collegiate team seniors), cherish your teammates.

Dance every second with them as if it’s your last.

And once it’s over, be glad that you went through with all of it.

Be glad that we, as dancers, experienced the things we did and performed the art we loved.

Nobody can take that away from us.

 

Does this article resonate with you because you’re a new alumni as well? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts with us!

This post was originally published on February 4, 2015. It has been edited by STEEZY.