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Business Dance Dance and Social Media Educators Technology Trends

It’s not what you say

Humans love to complain. We publicly post a dance rant and have 500 of our closest friends chime in on how they hate that too and then list 5 other things that that they can’t stand.

Who doesn’t love instant gratification? There’s that feeling of ultimate satisfaction for about 5 minutes, and then what? All of the sudden dancers start wearing tights and two shoes, age appropriate costumes, they stop filling the music with all tricks and all of the competition judges become perfect? Probably not.

If we put out work we believe in, work that reflects what we want to see on stage and what inspires us, we can find a longer lasting satisfaction than the knee jerk say-what-you-feel-right-now impulses that propel us to take our grumbles to social media for all to commiserate with.

What we say matters far less than how we say it. Expressing what we love to see is equivalent to expressing what we loathe to see, except more will listen if we frame it with a positive spin.

The reason trends exist is because somebody started them and our culture pushes us to conform.

Not every effort will be a home run, but if we bunt and get a base hit, it’s a promising start.

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Artists Dance and Social Media Technology

Start with this

Everyone can now know what we think about everything, should we choose to share it. There are no longer gatekeepers between us and our audience.

When something happens in our industry that we don’t like, the first instinct is often to take to social media.

“Everyone must know what I think about this.”

What’s the goal, really? What will change if everyone knows how much I dislike something or how against it I am? Will everyone all of the sudden start to do things differently? Will 500 people I don’t know give me life changing advice when they can’t really see it from the inside?

These exchanges very often turn into arguments that nobody ever wins, or mountains of advice and opinions from people who really don’t know us.

If we want to make change, truly meaningful change, we make culture by starting with the people right around us. This is our group, and our group does it like this.

When the impact starts small, it ends up much greater.

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Artists Business creating Dance Dance and Social Media motivation Technology

Ch-ch-changes

Time may change me

Any change will make someone in your audience unhappy. Not changing at all makes you “stuck in your ways”, and maybe they seek out something new and shiny.

There’s an integrity to holding on to tradition. There’s a reason it is done this way and it works.

There are also things that can make us reluctant to moving forward and making changes: reluctance, stubbornness, fear, laziness, feeling overwhelmed.

We need to find ourselves in that middle place, where we don’t listen to every piece of advice thrown out there, but we don’t want to throw walls up the instant somebody is offering new options and directions to move in. It takes more time and critical thinking to find a path that feels right.

A tendu will always be a tendu and a shuffle is a shuffle. It’s right or it’s not. The possible platforms and modes of delivery, though, are constantly changing, and the question of whether to move with them or not does not have a binary, yes/no answer.

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Artists Business Dance motivation productivity Technology

Pivot, step, walk, walk, walk

One very easy thing to do right now is to worry and ask ‘what if’.

What if I lose my business? What if my job, as I know it, is no longer? What if I have to change my life around completely? Now what?

Worrying takes a lot of energy and accomplishes nothing (we all will still spend some time worrying). We could also wait for things to get back to normal. Waiting is also not a good use of time.

As unideal as it is, it’s important to continue doing the work.

Not everything needs to change.

  • I’m still teaching my classes but they are pre-recorded.
  • I’m still teaching my classes but they are live-streamed.
  • I’m still planning classes for each level I teach, but now I’ve taken the time to separate the levels into different notebooks.

What’s next for me? An online monthly membership for people who want to continue tap dancing at home, or learn from the beginning. Stay tuned!

With slogs come new ideas, or time to develop the unrealized ideas and goals buried inside us collecting dust.

We can worry and wait and rant and let the challenge swallow us, or if we’re talking business-speak, we can nimbly pivot. As dancers, we’re slightly more talented and we can “Pivot, step, walk, walk, walk.

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Dance and Social Media Educators Technology

It’s not what you say…

Want to know if a new play, movie or book or tv show is any good? There used to be a select group of critics and gatekeepers that were the arbiters of what was and was not worth our time.

It’s now really easy to be a critic. The world can read what you thought about Sondheim’s 90th birthday concert or “Hollywood” on Netflix. Facebook and other platforms have taken away the gatekeepers. Anyone can speak up.

It’s important that those who educate choose to engage people over alienating them. Yelling at those who we feel ‘disrespect the art form’ or whose values and points of view don’t align with ours pushes more people away and diminishes the potential to reach others and make a difference, which is what most all of us who are educators set out to do.

The louder the critics are, the less they are worth listening to.

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Dance Technology

Keep the change

When the industry changes, it’s easy to feel stressed. The purist inside needs to meet the innovator somewhere in the middle. It’s easy to shut down when there is so much noise coming into your feed. Instagram live classes! Zoom classes! Downloadable classes!

Are you doing enough? Are you doing it the right way? Should you charge? Are other people doing it better?

Those who stick their feet in the mud and don’t budge may still be around when we emerge from this unprecedented crisis. They need to ask themselves, though, why they aren’t budging. If it’s rooted in panic, I challenge them to dig in and open their minds.

It took a beat to figure out how I wanted to share my work in this new reality. The important thing is to keep moving, imperfection and all, and to do it in a way that is true to you. I’m sharing my work like this over here, and dancers that want to work like this will come over here.

It’s more productive to embrace change than to shun it and shut down. All we have is right now and all we can do is our best work.