Dance Entrepreneur Breaks Down the Steps of Business Success
Boardrooms and bachata? Merengue and meetings? Lindy hop and LinkedIn? Business and dance seem like uncomfortable bedfellows, but dancing can inform how you lead -- making your interactions with clients, employees, or business partners more effective and fulfilling.
You learn to follow
For the classic type-A leader who struggles to delegate or otherwise give up control, Meg sometimes recommends learning to follow in tango or swing dance classes. Why? In these dances, you can’t succeed until you relax, let go of what you think is right, and allow your partner to guide you. While you can still add in an artistic flourish to enhance the experience, your primary job is to listen. This gives leaders a wider range of options as they partner with others. While it may sometimes be best for them to take the reins, it’s just as important to know when to get in the passenger’s seat.
You cultivate confidence in your voice
Dancing and leadership are more engaging and (dare I say it?) fun when you find your own style. Through dance, you learn to be seen for who you are (have you ever been spotlighted on stage? It takes courage!), as well as to trust your instincts and your unique contribution. You may not move exactly like the performer next to you, but what you offer is often just as valuable.
inform not just how you express yourself, but also how you can most effectively lead.
You practice resilience in extreme contexts
Dance forces vulnerability in a public setting; dance abroad doubly so. The beginner’s mindset pushes the comfort zone to keep you (literally!) on your toes. The stress of learning new ways to move the body while also staying with the beat cultivates resilience and shifts the goalposts of what is hard when you’re at work. Challenges don’t seem so insurmountable!
You learn to artfully move through mistakes
If you mess up during a performance, you don’t pause the music and start over! Instead, you keep moving. Like the jester who turns a fall into a graceful summersault, well-seasoned dancers (and leaders) know there is always an opportunity to turn an error into something brilliant. This mindset of creativity and pivoting is what has many entrepreneurs and leaders thrive. They’re willing to try, make a mistake, and end up with something better than what they started with.
You learn to improvise
From reading social cues and pivoting to communicating through the body, improvisation is central to dance and imperative to leadership. Nothing ever goes completely according to plan, and being able to respond gracefully to issues will preserve your confidence in discomfort.
Megan Taylor Morrison, a business coach, former professional dancer, and author of Dance Adventures: True Stories About Dancing Abroad, has experienced the cross-over firsthand. After years of dancing around the world -- as well as working with executives and entrepreneurs across the globe -- she can speak or write an article about the key reasons why leaders can benefit from regular movement practice.
Business Done Write is an Online Magazine that looks to bring a balanced and fresh approach to the manner in which business is done. Our contributors include various Entrepreneurs that have created, operate, or retired from Multi-Million Dollar national or international businesses.