Author: Dave Williams
The next time you advertise for a managerial or leadership position, or you’re trying to find a business partner, it may be worth enquiring whether prospects have some actual moves up their sleeves.
Whether you’re a sole proprietor on the hustle, or a multinational conglomerate, outside of the odd event, you may not have had cause to hire your very own private dancer – a dancer for money. But beyond the Tina Turner metaphor, if you want a professional who can manage, organise, synchronise and move people with military precision, consider a choreographer🩰.
These highly trained professionals are skilled at mobilising people, meeting show-stopping deadlines, telling stories, setting the scene, captivating an audience, and doing it all on a shoestring budget. The dance expert also makes it look so delightfully easy that you too will feel like you can execute complex routines with the stamina, athleticism and prowess of a Beyoncé or a Baryshnikov. But you know full well you can’t.
High-performance environments and dancers share a remarkable affinity. Full disclosure: as a pandemically-challenged choreographer, I may be trying to hustle you. Buyer beware. But to deepen the point, let’s turn to another example – the military.
Take Starbucks’ multi-year initiative to hire veterans of the U. S. military; time in service gave the veterans skills and training that were deemed highly beneficial to the company’s objectives – logistics, discipline, implementing strategy, tactical planning, combat, teamwork, problem-solving, trends in contemporaneity, powers of observation, and the list goes on.
The same traits emerge from dance practice. Few fields of endeavour build the drive, persistence, discipline, mental and physical stamina, resilience, teamwork, trust, determination, interdisciplinarity, personal responsibility and the rigorous pursuit of excellence like the military or performing arts. Choreographers, in particular, must have strong leadership skills to motivate and inspire a troop of dancers 💃. direct musicians and designers, share a vision and communicate effectively to collaborate and co-create. Plus, s/he must have the will to put their whole reputation and career on the line if it all goes South.
There is no comparison to our brothers and sisters in uniform who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. Still, the world of the performing artist, where the order of the day is to confront the realm of creativity, aesthetic valuing and artistic integrity, is a source of enviable management skills. We also have to accomplish success with the humility and gumption to take on the world in tights.
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