Wondering how to lead your dance team better? You're constantly (almost obsessively) thinking about the team, using all your free time to plan the next practice or rethink the direction, always feeling like there's something more that can be done.
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BUT there are the times when practice goes really well, the team has no drama, and the set seems to be coming together seamlessly...
The question is: How do you, as a leader, make these times the majority? While there is no 'perfect' way to lead a team, there are things that help to lead a dance team more effectively. Keep reading for some useful dance team leadership tips!
Yep, when you lead your dance team, there are approximately a bajillion things to do both in your personal life and in the set-creating process.
It's natural to feel stressed or overwhelmed – but hey!!!
You don't have to do everything alone!
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Lean on your board members for support and delegate duties.
Trust that your team has your back and can handle the things you may not have the headspace for.
The more stressed a leader is, the less personable and approachable he/she can be.
Delegating will relieve some of that pressure and stress, making you more approachable.
Your team will be happy that you can maintain a positive disposition even during crunch time AND be grateful for the opportunity to step up!
Anyone who has ever been to an amazing community class or performed at/attended a competition can understand how infectious positivity is.
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And as a leader, it's important to reinforce positivity with your team (even if you can't be that beacon of light for your team some days).
'Award' positive behavior by acknowledging the positivity and contributing to it to establish an environment your dancers will feel is an escape from their everyday woes.
By that same token, provide positive feedback.
Feeling appreciated brings about a sense of belonging and importance, so let your dancers know how valuable they are to the team.
It's a huge job to lead your dance team, but it's important to know when to not take yourself too seriously.
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Take planning things for your team seriously.
Take input from your board members seriously.
Take your artistry seriously.
But when things don't go as planned (this WILL HAPPEN), be good humored about it!
It's not the end of the world!
The sooner you let things like that roll off your back, the sooner you can think of a plan B.
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A great way to lead your dance team is by building a connection with your team both as a unit and with each dancer.
You can be a great leader but it's difficult to establish rapport with your team if you don't take the time to get to know them.
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Talk to them in your downtime at practice.
Make the effort to go out to team dinners.
Dancers aren't paid to be on teams, so the fact that they show up to practice under your direction is a personal choice.
Show your team that you're making the effort to get to know them in return.
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The position of leadership is an important one for sure, but that doesn't mean you can't learn from your dancers!
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The relationship between director and dancers should be reciprocal.
Leaders should learn from their team as much as the team learns from their leader.
Assuming you know everything and being close minded to suggestions could very well inhibit some much-needed change within the team.
Finally, give yourself credit for taking on such a huge role.Being a leader is a vulnerable position – it opens you up to criticism, but you are also able to invoke positive change within the team.And that will always be rewarding.So lead by example.Lead with positivity and gumption.Lead with an open mind and heart.And the rest will follow.What other leadership skills do you think are important to have as a director of a team? Leave a comment below to share with us!This article was originally published on February 2, 2015.