Dance Teacher Resources

5 ballet habits that will help you succeed in business 

Photo by Christina Morillo.
Photo by Christina Morillo.

You’re in the studio all day, and a boardroom with a long table and multiple chairs, fluorescent lights, and a giant presentation screen is probably the last thing on your mind. But, a ballet career only lasts so long, and you never know what your next steps may be. 

For some dancers, their post-performance career will be a time to completely branch out into new arenas. Here are five ballet habits that you naturally adopt as a dancer, and which can help you succeed in business and more. 

#1. Applying attention to detail

In business, everyone is eager to climb the ladder and make a name for themselves. But attention to detail is important. It will help define and distinguish you. This trait is most definitely needed in a lawyer, producer, surgeon, designer, publisher and more.

Dancers thrive on detail when it comes to learning choreography, putting together a resume, writing emails to potential directors, even applying stage makeup. Other business jobs require attention to detail when speaking to clients, project managing, forecasting or closing deals. Attention to detail will drive success, making you appear organised, polished and presentable.

#2. Working hard and working smart

No doubt about it, ballet dancers work hard. And with this work ethic comes grit and determination. Ballet may look effortless and beautiful to the outside world, but insiders know the physical power and mental resilience required to achieve daily goals in class and peak performance levels. And the same goes for business pursuits. Hard work and dedication will allow you to achieve results, and a mindset that seeks to learn continually with the ability to apply new knowledge is a unique kind of endurance.

But hard work isn’t enough. Smart work is knowing when and how to show up, which tasks require more energy and how to space them out. On a daily basis, dancers know how to set goals and strive to achieve them. Just think of ballet class – you are gradually working on something and toward something, and you’re executing energy accordingly as the class progresses into more complex, choreographed steps. As milestones and goals are obtained, time management skills are being developed, and progress plans are being implemented. Working hard and smart – and as a proactive team player – will set you apart.

#3. Receiving feedback with an open mind

It can be hard receiving criticism, but dancers know that daily corrections and personal feedback is only going to propel growth. With an open mind and ability to apply correction, this will build trust and rapport, showing respect to those who give the feedback. In business, this is necessary when collaborating with a client or receiving a yearly review from your boss.

#4. Exercising longevity and delayed gratification

A lot of young business professionals want to climb the ladder and climb it fast. And sometimes, if they can’t wait, they’ll move on when they don’t get what they want. But what dancers understand is that a ‘good technical foundation and understanding is required to build upon’ and that ‘consistency is key.’ This is crucial when mastering skills in any other field and for building relationships with internal and external stakeholders. This skill will help you succeed and retain business, and grit and perseverance will sustain you.

#5. Retaining poise and posture

How you conduct yourself and carry yourself determines how the people around you respond to you. Maybe you’re not the most confident person in the room, but as you grow in your role, your balletic poise and posture will make up for that. It gives an illusion of confidence, allowing you to face adversity with grace. Exercise it, and you’ll get noticed and make others feel more at ease!

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.

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