Age Falsification In Dancesport Competitions

One of the biggest things I have to deal with as a Dancesport Competition Organizer is the issue of competitor’s ages at the Pre-Teen and Junior levels.

It has become increasingly prevalent in our world for competitors and their parents to falsify a child’s age, making them younger than they actually are, to seemingly minimize the competition in a given event.

The commonality of this practice leads me, as an organizer and a parent to ask some very pertinent questions.

First and foremost, as a parent, what are we teaching our children when we ask them to lie? Are we teaching them to be the best “them” that they can be or are we teaching them that lying to win is the way to go?

How will our children learn to trust us as parents if we continually give them the message that we lie to get ahead?

How do you think your child feels when a complete stranger starts grilling them at an already stressful competition about how old they are?

Equally as important is the idea that we have planted this false sense in our children’s self esteem bank. While they may be able to boast a win of a certain event, won’t it always be in the back of their minds that the win wasn’t a true win but one based in pretense?

In the long run, lying about a competitor’s age is going to hurt more than it could ever help.

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Wayne Eng
Organizer - The Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships
Co-Organizer - San Diego Dancesport Championships
Competition Director - United States Dance Championships