Everything I Need to Know I Learned Through Dancing

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On leadership

My high school team had this statement shirt that had “Strong individual” on the front, and on the back it said “Stronger as a team”. When you’re on that last cheerleading pyramid sequence of your 3rd full run to cap off an exhausting 3-hour training, you need to be able to draw energy from the person dancing beside you. Teams who don’t communicate or support each other during the routine itself end up with a bad run. From the spectator POV, it may not look like it but you feel as if there was something amiss — you just can’t quite put a finger on it.

On performance

One thing I learned late in the game is that form beats power. Not a lot of people know this: For the longest time I evaded looking at myself in the mirror while dancing. I was training for competitions, learning hard-hitting routines, repeating them again and again with the goal of making the next run stronger than the last. I honestly thought that being a strong dancer was all you needed to be. Boy, was I wrong.

On commitment

In dance parlance, there is a term called “doing”. “Doing” as opposed to “marking” a routine means you will execute with full effort in every sense of the word — energy, vibe, confidence, endurance. “Doing” the routine is running it with your whole heart, soul, mind, and body.

On growth

“Get out of your comfort zone” is such an overused saying that it has become mundane and lackluster. But what I learned early on is that this is really more of a cycle than just a step you have to take.

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