I admire those in my field who are at the top of their game – those I see as leaders and game changers in their own realm. How did they get there? They definitely didn’t maintain the status quo in their work. They broke rules and pissed off people. They did so because they had a vision that was different than what everyone else was trying to achieve.
There will be those who want to follow the rules. We need these people. They are called employees. They are the worker bees that take orders and carry them out without question. They tend to be loyal to an organization. They seek normality in their life and want to be able to go to work and come home and not think anymore about it. They often see problems that are unsolvable. These are dancers who work for other dancers.
The innovators are those who break the rules. We need these people too. They tend to be labelled geniuses in their field. Often they are bored with a hint of rebellion. Sometimes called les enfants terribles. Tell them they can’t do it and they will make it their goal to prove you wrong. They can be flippant and like to change things up often, whether it be their job, their project, their living situation, partners, etc. They often have itchy feet. These are my favorite people. Every week, they seem to be living a different life. These are the dancers who open their own schools and companies.
To the worker bees, these people are scary. They are unpredictable from day to day. Their opinions change in an instant when new information is received. They tend to be on the cutting edge of their industry and help push that edge forward into the future. I have heard these people labelled immature because of their lack of stick-to-itness. I whole heartedly disagree with that one. They can’t subscribe to a flawed philosophy when they know there is a better one available somewhere. That is innovation, not flakiness.
They look at the world differently. They see solutions for the problems others can’t solve. They bring new ideas to the table. In the dance world, they find a way to bring masterful and ground breaking art to the stage. They take what others already know and break it. They create schools with a new philosophy in dance. They create companies that express something the community has not seen before.
They are inspired by those who have already done. They know that re-inventing the wheel is going to be a waste of time. So, they study from the greats to whom they have access. They glean as much as they can from those people then put their own spin on it because they believe it can be done a different way while still having a basis of historical theory. We all started from somewhere. Someone had to train us to be the dancer we can be. We have a choice to advance our industry or coast and just follow what others are doing. Either choice can be satisfying. So, decide what kind of dancer you want to be and be it.