Attendance in my performance choreography class plummeted. I thought that I might recruit the dancers from my other classes. However, when I tell students in my other classes that I’m preparing a dance for an as yet undetermined performance, I see rows of polite smiles, but not more bodies in rehearsal. So I try another route. Instead of trying to drum up enthusiasm for my envisioned project, I ask my prospective participants to offer a stage of their own, “Do any of you have a favorite charity for whom we might perform?”

Perhaps this approach can work with my fellow teachers as well. One of them may provide a venue. That requires that I compromise. My two best collaborators weren’t moved to follow my indoor/outdoor, weekend long dance camp suggestion; but they proposed that we gather together to host another in-studio dance-sampler/open house day. I reluctantly threw-in my support behind the idea, “taking one for the team”, because the offer and the initiative arose from them.

I don’t like admitting that all the best ideas for us aren’t mine! For me, it’s an uncomfortable position. I am accustomed to being the Boss; but I’m not the one doing the hard, physical work of dancing the steps, or enrolling enough participants to justify the expensive of production.

How do you make something while relinquishing control of it?

It’s not enough just to listen. Once I ask for suggestions, I’m obligated to apply the answers.

Any suggestions?


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