How to Be the Best Collaborator You Can Be
October 24th, 2019 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
Dance is a collaborative art. As such, part of being the best dancer you can be is being the best collaborator you can be! Just like mastering a new tap step or finally achieving that triple pirouette, collaboration requires time, effort, and mindfulness. When going about collaboration in dance, there are plenty of things to apply to your process to make sure everyone has an equal footing in what they’re doing.
Share The Floor
When you’re in the heat of the moment and living your best life through dance, it’s easy to get carried away and forget you’re not the only one performing. This is why it’s important to always take note to make sure you are listening to your fellow dancers around you. Let’s say you’re creating a piece together with a group of people. You may love what you’re doing so much that you forget to listen to the minor adjustments given to you. This could also apply to a class, which can be considered a sort of collaboration between teacher and student. What’s so beautiful about collaboration is that it is the culmination of many people coming together to create a greater, unified work of art. This can only happen when everyone is listening, ready to do their part.
On the flip side of this, it’s best to make sure everyone is heard when they have important input to add. Some people are going to be more soft-spoken than others, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have something to say! It’s not a great feeling to be left out. Sometimes there will be a shy person in a crowd of enthusiastic, vivacious dancers that has some incredible ideas. When you feel someone isn’t contributing as much, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have anything extra to share. You might be surprised what they have to say! The best way to work together well is to make sure everyone is heard.
Don’t Forget to *Shine*!
Similarly, it’s important to let everyone be allowed to shine. If you can, put everyone first! Have your time in the forefront, and then give someone else a time to share the spotlight. This is easiest to do if you’re the choreographer in charge of a group; try to give everyone a chance to show off their best stuff! Plus, an audience will be all the more impressed if everyone gets a chance to show off their talents. This also applies to your performance; be aware of the energies in the room and do your best, but share the spotlight evenly with others. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge your fellow dancers on stage, the chemistry will really read to an audience. An equally divided group is a more impressive group!
Most importantly, fun should always come first when it comes to dance. The only thing better than dancing is dancing with a dynamic group of superstars! Creating something new can be frustrating at times. Everyone has their moments of writer’s block (or maybe we should say “dancer’s block”). But don’t let that get to you. Creating can be super fun when you’re with other people all working towards the same goal. When you’re at a loss for where to go next, remember that you have a whole group of people that can pick you up when you’re down. Make the most of this ideal situation and make some magic as a group. Don’t sweat the small stuff if things aren’t working out, the best work can be done when you’re having fun!
When put together, all of these tips create the perfect formula for some collaborative, fun, show-stopping work. The best dance magic happens when everyone gets the chance to share their stuff for the world to see. If you haven’t had the chance to create something together with a group of people, reach out to your best dance friends to make something together! Nothing can stop a group of incredible dancers from creating spectacular work and sharing it with the world if everyone works together equally. We can’t wait to see how you wow the crowds by collaborating at your best!
Aran Abilock is a writer for StarQuest. He loves mac and cheese, theatre, and all things Pokémon!