A couple of months ago, I came across an article in Dance Magazine named 'Why Dancers' Skills Are More Valuable Than Ever'. It immediately resonated in my mind as I always go back to my dance background to be thankful for all the skills I have - most of them outside of the studio or the stage.
After over 20 years of dance training, I can't describe myself without the word 'dance' and everything that it includes: time management, responsibility and, most important, perseverance. In a workforce that is, more than ever, an ever-changing environment, someone with a dance background has developed a very flexible mind and the ability to adapt easier to new circumstances and needs.
Just like the article mentions:
Cognitive skills, like math and reading, are losing their value in the workplace. A recent study found that "In the past 30 years, job tasks in the U.S. have shifted dramatically towards tasks requiring noncognitive skills." Sometimes known as "soft skills," these noncognitive skills include problem-solving, communication and innovation. As technology advances, it is becoming less important for workers to do and more important to organize and innovate. The ideal employee of the future still has strong math and reading skills, but—more importantly—is equipped with creativity, resilience, perseverance and self-control.
I remember that one of my first lessons as a dance student was the value of determination. As an aspiring dance artist, soon I realized that the only way to achieve a goal is to push myself - which now turned into a 'can-do attitude' in every project or task. Dealing with a filled schedule since I was a kid - combining dance classes with school and personal life - made me able to balance multiple tasks without cracking under pressure.
But despite all these reasons, the most valuable lesson that dance gave me was the power of community and teamwork. Working is not a solo performance, and when we use our individual qualities to act as a collective, well, magic happens.
Also, an education in the arts field allows me to think frequently outside the box, ask questions and rethinking issues. Using my creativity to pursue new projects give me the same pleasure as using my creativity to create a movement. So, isn't dance one of the greatest backgrounds you can have?
Credits: Bárbara Araújo