Dancing Politely

In the dance world, there are politics to play. This is such in all aspects of our life whether we like it or not. Dance politics includes playing nice with those with whom  you want to work. It involves taking lessons from influential coaches. It takes speaking neutrally of those you do not like. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer is part of the politics as well.

Those involved in dance at any level, run up against egos. The teachers have to deal with the egos of the parents. The teachers have to deal with the egos of the studio owners. The studio owners contend with the egos of other studio owners. The dancers are up against the egos of the directors, coaches, and choreographers. All this is a lot to put up with when “[you] just came here to dance!”

Behold the life of a dancer in the professional realm. Dance is not an easy route in life. Being a great dancer is a small part of the game. There is much psychological warfare going on behind the scenes that those outside the field rarely see unless they happen to be privy to a conversation not intended for their ears. Dancers have to learn to tune out the political noise that surrounds them.

Dancers are hardy. They are athletes. They are actors. They are musicians. They are puppets. They are masterpieces. They are so many things wrapped into one in the physical realm. If you make it into the professional world for your physical dancing, you have only overcome a small hurdle. That may get your foot into the door to a blossoming career, but it will only get you so far.

Learning to play the game requires a thick hide. You have to learn to take a lot of insult and injury with a smile. You have to swallow your pride. You have to realize your place within the community. You will make mistakes and encounter set backs. This is what will help make you stronger and give you more fight. You do have to fight everyday to stay mentally tough and not give up. Giving up would be so much easier and there may be a gnawing voice reminding you of that constantly. Observe those around you and learn from their mistakes at the same time. Dance is a mine field that you will have to learn to dance through carefully. All said and done, the rewards each day while you tiptoe through will make it worthwhile if you can maintain your eye on the prize.

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