There are 9 things exceptional dancers do differently than anyone else.
1. They set goals.
Setting Goals is an important aspect of being exceptional as a performer, choreographer, and teacher.
Goals guide your actions to grow and be happy in dance and life. Don’t be afraid to go after things that excite you even if they seem impossible or unattainable.
Decide what you want: to be the best, the most flexible, extremely creative, whatever it may be. Then aim for the top and work your way backwards figuring out each step you need to accomplish from where you are now. Breaking your goal down into these steps will help you take the action needed to accomplish it.
Being specific, knowing the cost and transforming being into doing will help you reach your ultimate goal.
For example write down your goals for the next 6 months. Determine the cost for each one, and then specify 3 steps to take action. Take the first step now. Be specific as much as you can.
2. They are always open to new opportunities.
Famous dance artists don’t stop after achieving their goals but instead they stay available for what comes next.
“Success leads to success.” Dr. BJ Fogg
Achieving one big goal creates the hunger and gives the confidence to achieve the next one. Having the skills and network from your previous experience gives you the opportunity to use them towards your next major goal.
3. They are not afraid of failure.
The worst scenario is never as bad as you think. As long as you work and learn from your mistakes and those of others! You can always gain what was lost. Challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone. Do at least one thing that scares you everyday.
For example if you are feeling uncomfortable in front of audience then go out and do a short dance routine or improvise on the street.
Think of your next challenge and conquer it.
What you see during a great performance is the final product. Behind which hides the immense work and dedication of the artist and many years of mistakes and lessons.
Total commitment and strong focus will help you overcome the obstacles on the way.
“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” Vince Lombardi
4. They do the work.
There is no overnight success. You have to work towards your goals. Focus on making small continuous improvement whether it’s your dance technique, flexibility, productivity etc.
If you want to improve your side split for example, focus on a couple specific exercises and practise every day. Consistency and repetition in your effort will lead to big gains.
Don’t forget that “practice makes permanent.” Find the dance technique or method that suits your body and interests.
Measure and track your progress. Develop habits that will help you to be persistent and focused on what you want to accomplish.
5. They never stop learning.
No matter how famous a choreographer, teacher or dancer, they all have something in common – curiosity and hunger for knowledge.
They never stop being interested and eager for new discoveries or what they can find out from their students, audience, or feedback they get. They learn from experience and make informed decisions.
Nurture your curiosity.
6. They are looking forward to being different.
If this means to stand out from the crowd and not follow the latest dance fashion in movement, do it. Be the first one trying to do something in a way that will surprise. Question the status quo.
“Different is better when it is more effective or more fun.” Tim Ferriss
Be interested in the subject of your work even if that means you have to follow a different path than other familiar dancers.
Go and approach famous choreographers or dancers you want to work with or mentor you. You will be noticed because most people are reluctant to communicate with those already successful.
Become familiar with feeling uncomfortable through practice. That will improve your performance and confidence as an artist.
7. They become “salespeople”.
Whether you want to find your dream job as a dancer, to have your own dance company, studio etc. you better learn how to sell.
That means you have to be able to explain the logic and benefits of a decision or a position. Selling is convincing other people to work with you, being able to offer the best terms.
To get funding, scholarship, residencies etc. you have to be able to negotiate and to deal with rejection – the main companion of a dancer.
“Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it”. Being confident and genuine helps you to communicate and build long-term relationships.
Get peoples’ attention, make them interested, selling is all about effective communication.
8. They surround themselves with positive people
Be kind and genuine and expect the people you spend your time with to be the same. You may already have heard that you are the average of the five people you spend most your time with!
Meet inspiring people that bring you joy and help you to move forward and don’t forget to return the favour.
Search for positive influence outside your usual social circle. You will get new ideas and it will enrich your life and artistic view. It will help you to find collaborators outside your field like musicians, photographers, painters, designers, etc.
9. They always :
Ask for help.
Say thank you.
Have fun at their own expense.
Encourage people they work with.
Try, fail and succeed by doing.
Photographer: Raicho Dimitrov