Calculating Your Odds of Success
(ZAGHAREET! (May/June 2007)
by Anthea Kawakib Poole
Why Some Students Make it, and Some Don't
As I’m writing this, it’s
close to Income Tax time here in the USA. If you have much
to do with your own accounting (as many professional dancers and
teachers do) it really provides an opportunity to see how it’s all
And except for the number crunching and
complicated tax laws, it’s sort of fun!
- you can see how much performing or
teaching you did
- whether you got paid for it (and how
much) or did it for free
- how much networking you did (workshops,
lunches, meetings etc.)
- how much you spent on costumes, CDs,
Even if you’re a hobbyist, a dance-accounting (of
your time, energy, and money) can be an eye-opener. You
might be tempted to make some predictions–based on this cash-flow
info--on where dancing will take you . . . but don’t be fooled.
What determines success in reaching any goal is not as easily
tracked as time or money–it’s your real potential.
Potential depends on your
determination. And your determination depends on your beliefs.
Many times I notice a new student has “dancer
potential” but never can be sure if she’ll reach it or not.
Sometimes I’ll think: “she’s graceful and learns
quickly....she’ll be a great dancer”; or another one might
be a natural performer, always “on,” entertaining those around
her, playing such a convincing part in real life you know she’d be
Even if -- on the surface – a student
seems to be what “Superstars” are made of, in reality, she
- lack the drive or ambition to become a
- lack the money for enough lessons
- decide to devote her time to other
- move away and stop studying because
there’s no other dancers or teachers nearby
- or she just might not believe in herself
YOU Gotta Believe
You can spend loads of time and
money on the dance and never reach your goals, if they are not the
right goals for you or you don’t really believe in them.
I’ve seen lots of good students and potentially great dancers NOT
make it - maybe they didn’t WANT to, and that’s fine.
But why waste your time? Take a few moments to
figure out WHY you want to dance - boy can those few minutes save
you a lot of time and energy. If you really know what you’re
in it for, you won’t “fall out” when trouble and disappointment
come your way (as they will).
The trick is how honest can you be with
yourself? So many times we fool ourselves without even
knowing it . . . and end up running away from what we really need!
Keep an open mind and be willing to change direction.
Don’t be swayed by your friends’ desires and abilities; what works
for them may be wrong for you. Decisions are powerful
tools–use them well.
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