If you're using React components in a larger non-React application or transitioning your code to React, you may need to keep references to components.
React.renderComponent returns a reference to the mounted component:
/** @jsx React.DOM */ var myComponent = React.renderComponent(<MyComponent />, myContainer);
Keep in mind, however, that the "constructor" of a component doesn't return a component instance! It's just a descriptor: a lightweight representation that tells React what the mounted component should look like.
/** @jsx React.DOM */ var myComponent = <MyComponent />; // This is just a descriptor. // Some code here... myComponent = React.renderComponent(myComponent, myContainer);
This should only ever be used at the top level. Inside components, let your
statehandle communication with child components, and only reference components via refs.