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Entry 2 - Innovate Don’t Imitate

So, here we are…5 months in. Wow!

I was inspired for this blog topic this evening as I came home from teaching the most wonderful wedding couple. I had barely pulled up to my house before they texted me saying how much they enjoyed their dance and were excited for their next lesson. But it wasn’t actually them (as lovely as they were) that created the inspiration - but rather my own reaction.

As a teacher I find it hard to be happy with my own choreography. I always want to provide something even more perfect for people who choose me as their teacher. So, I found myself doing exactly what I reprimand my students for - I jumped on YouTube, the “Doctor Google” of dance! I wanted to see if anyone else had done a dance to that song for their wedding and, more importantly, was the choreography better than mine.

This time I was satisfied.

Not long after though and the reason I am writing this blog....I was angry at myself. Dance is subjective, it’s beautiful, personal and sometimes even emotional. We should be embracing and supporting creativity. Not trying to mimic other people’s work in some feeble attempt to create magic. Their work is exactly that - their work.

Should we get ideas from other dancers? Yes absolutely. To inspire is why we dance. But I get ideas from dancers, shapes, colours, feelings - you name it we are surrounded by inspiration. But we should never ever be comparing ourselves to anyone other than ourselves. It’s our art. It’s your art.

I always feel that we should be embracing each other’s styles in dance. As a teacher I love supporting other schools and teachers because I’m certainly not naive enough to forget that each and every one of my clients has made a choice to be with Example. Of course there are other schools offering different things to me out there but if I stop trying to follow my heart and try to be them then I become a copy not an original. That is and was never what ‘Lead By Example’ was meant for.

I set up my school having worked for several others; as a manager, as a teacher, as a business woman, and yet I try to run Example as a vocation. Anything else and all authenticity is lost. I am not those other schools I am me - Leading by Example. It won’t be for everyone I’m sure but at least I know I’ve given it everything that I can offer uniquely.

As a dancer and a teacher teaching you to be you is, for me, a hundred times harder than the discipline itself. We can teach technique beautifully, follow every syllabus, put you through every medal test or competition but the day you discover the dancer in you - even if that is simply smiling whilst you dance - that’s when you become a dancer, no matter what your level.

So, the reason for this blog is this - I want to inspire the world to dance of course I do, but more importantly I want you all to follow the advice I so desperately want to follow myself. We will all look over our shoulders at those around us - but you, like me, dance for a reason and so as cliché as it sounds - don’t dance to be someone you’re not. Dance to be you and I will continue to teach as truly and as authentically as I can - let’s ‘Lead By Example’ and always innovate not imitate.

It’s time to find the dancer in you.

Emma x

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