Q: How can I handle feeling excluded from my dance team at a dance competition?

A: Hi there, 

I’m hearing how difficult this is for you, and I commend you for reaching out for support. Feeling excluded is one of the more challenging experiences for us as humans, given that we are social creatures by nature, so handling feeling excluded or left out can be hard. However, there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Consider why you’re feeling excluded. Is it that you feel disconnected from the team as a whole, or are there individuals who are challenging to connect with? Is the competition environment overwhelming? Do you not like dance itself, and it feels hard to connect over it? These are just a few reasons. Talking to a friend or trusted adult can help you get a better understanding of the situation.
  • Connect individually. If there is someone on the team who you like, reach out to them individually to work on building one-on-one relationships. This way, you have a little more connection and possible support to access in the competitive environment.
  • Talk to your coach or team leader for support. You are definitely not alone, and they likely have experience supporting other dancers who have felt this same way.

However you choose to deal with feeling excluded, know that you can find connection, support, and inclusion. Whether you find new friends on your dance team, find a new dance team that feels more welcoming and inclusive, or decide to pursue something else, you’ll eventually find somewhere you belong, with people who respect you and want you around.


Kate Hanselman, PMHNP