Vanessa Carroll: Rewards & Challenges of Being Captain on my Dance Team


vanessa carroll


What kind of experience should you expect as captain of a dance team? Is it easy? Is it hard? Is it rewarding? Is it challenging? These are some great questions you may be asking yourself if you are ever faced the opportunity to be a captain of a dance team. The following is short summation of my experience as Captain of the El Modena High School Vanguard Dance Company.

Being captain of a dance team can be challenging while at the same time rewarding. Your goal is to push your team mentally and physically, while at the same time pushing your own limits. You have authority to give corrections to your peers but you don’t want to come off as a “tyrant” because your teammates will not follow your lead if you’re just barking orders.  

Some other challenges you may face as a captain include:

Cultivating Confidence

Sometimes your peers won’t enjoy a piece because they are frustrated with their spot in the formation or they don’t like the specific dance style because they lack confidence in their abilities.  As captain, it is your responsibility to reassure every dancer has an important part of the formation and they continue developing as dancers so that their confidence grows.

Describing to the Team the Vision and Expectations

As a leader, you must share the vision for the team. A challenge may be getting everyone to believe in the vision and then working together to achieve it.  You need to inspire your dancers that they believe in the same vision as you do. The dancers must be fully aware of the expectations or it will be difficult for the team to be successful.

While these are some of the challenges you may face as captain of the dance team, on the flip side, there are some amazing rewards that come along with it!

Inspiring the Team

The role of captain does not mean you’re a perfect dancer or a perfect choreographer, which I’m clearly not, but to inspire your team you need to lead by example! You must have great energy and high work ethics and your dancers must see that.  I recommend taking separate classes alongside the dancers as just a peer. There is no greater feeling than inspiring my team to become as one when we’re on the dance floor.


Making Lifelong Friends

Some dancers might be uncomfortable befriending you because you’re thecaptain of the dance team, but if you try to connect with each and every one of your peers at the beginning and throughout the season you will earn lifelong friends. The better your team has a personal connection with everyone the stronger the team culture will be, which will lead to better overall alignment of the team. I am fortunate to have so many friends on the Vanguard Dance Company and I love them so dearly that I will stay connected with them for a lifetime.

The dance team captain position can be challenging, as I described above, but the rewards are worth taking on the challenges because you will see the vision come to reality and you will earn lifelong friends.  I hope this blog will inspire young dancers out there to take the challenge and go try out for captain of their dance team.

Love Always,
Vanessa Carroll