As she rolls out of bed for the fifth time this week, Claudia looks to her desk to remember why she chooses to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning. She examines the display of hard-earned trophies, medals, and plaques displayed along her desk. Smiling, she grabs her dance bag that holds a pair of sweats and a tank top and rushes out the door. Claudia juggles working a full-time job, schoolwork from college classes, and taking care of her younger siblings. While her life is beyond busy, dance is one thing that slows down her hectic schedule. Since Claudia was a kid, she has always found purpose in her dance and truly draws inspiration from this creative outlet. As she’s gotten older, she also found that it has benefits to other areas of her life beyond dance. It has made her a better person in and out of the studio, offering her self-confidence, determination, and much more. Making the time for dance has always paid off for Claudia.
Dancers, just like Claudia, know how incredibly valuable dance is—not only in the studio, but also the benefits it offers into their personal and professional lifestyles. Beyond muscle strength and flexibility, dance develops skills that can be utilized throughout a lifetime. Many dancers start in the studio at a young, impressionable age, and while they are practicing their pointe techniques and plies, they are also growing their ability of determination and detail. No great dancer would be where they are today without acquiring a versatile and strong skill set including:
-Self-confidence: Chances are that you are a different person today than you were when you first started to dance. A lot of this is due to your increase in self-confidence! Through mastering various styles of dance, you also discovered more about who you are. You’ve made friends, learned how to work well with others and by yourself, how to perform in front of strangers, and how to make each dance you perform your very own. Self-confidence can benefit you in other areas of your life as well—it could encourage you to audition for the lead in the school play, go for that promotion at work, or just do something you’ve always been afraid to do. Self-confidence makes you a more inviting, empathetic, outgoing, and an all-around exceptional person.
-Determination: No one is born an expert—not even Einstein, Bill Gates, or Elvis Presley. Even the greatest of dancers had to learn their moves day by day, step by step. The more you practice, learn, and perform, the better you will eventually get. Failing from your trials is what makes you better and launches you to succeed in the future. Imagine if your favorite dancer would have quit the second they couldn’t land a move. Most likely, they wouldn’t be where they are today. Determining to pick yourself back up again and again to finally nail that move is exactly what every dancer is pushed to learn. This skill can then be easily applied to school and work in every dancer’s life. By learning to keep going even when things are tough is an irreplaceable skill to have.
-Attention to Detail: Dancers know the high importance of detailed work. Striving for precision and perfection is ingrained into them by every dancer teacher, trainer, and coach. Messy and mediocre won’t cut it in dance, as every small move is watched and taken into account. Dancers learn this skill very quickly, and over time they naturally carry it over into their work and personal lives. Papers are proof-read various times to rid of errors, deadlines are always swiftly met, and birthdays are never forgotten. All dancers know to never slack on the small stuff, because the small things usually end up being the bigger things that truly matter.
-Leadership: With the combination of all these skills, the dancer who walked into the studio for the first time is not the same one who walks out of the studio today. Dance establishes self-confidence, determination, and attention to detail, and all these skills together make an exceptional leader: a leader who inspires others, thinks creatively, and doesn’t stop when things get tough. They learn to lead not only in the studio, but in their personal and professional life as well. Dancers know what it’s like to put in countless hours, weeks, months, and even years to accomplish a goal. If dancers put in the work, they know they will succeed and achieve great things in every aspect of their lives.