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Performance Priorities!

Have you ever thought about your performance priorities? You might be wondering what I mean by that. Ok… simply put, how would you complete this sentence?

When I perform, my first obligation is to _________________________________________.

Take a moment…

Think about it…

I will wait….

Done yet?

Ok, so the teacher in me wants to say that there is no “wrong answer”. This is only partially true, but I will get back to this later.

Really, there are about 4 answers that most professional dancers would come up with and they are all true in some way or another. They are (in no particular order): choreographer, yourself; fellow dancers; and the audience. If you think about it, a performer has an obligation to all of these groups.

1.Choreographer – you obligated to do the choreography as taught and directed. Not doing that could jeopardize your job.

2.Yourself – you have an obligation to yourself to do your best and enjoy yourself on stage, because why else would you dance.

3.Fellow Dancers – you have an obligation during a performance to do your best for the dancers around you, because when one person looks bad everyone looks bad.

4.Audience – you have an obligation to perform at your best, because they paid to come see you and deserve to see a great show.

So if all 4 of these are the “correct” answer, it really becomes about prioritizing them. There is no wrong way to prioritize them. How you prioritize them, though, says a lot about the kind of performer you are.

So how would you prioritize them?

Go ahead… Put your list in order with 1 being highest priority on down to 4…

Take your time…

I will wait…

So what did you come up with? But before you tell me think about this…

Dance is performed for a community by a community. Each night, there could be hundreds of people watching your performance. They have all come for a respite from reality to enjoy something beautiful and magical. And they have not come to watch you; they have come to watch the whole performance of which you are just one person of a whole community of people who are working to create that magic. If that community of performers and artists succeed in creating that magic in the vision of the choreographer, that is one of the most satisfying moments an individual can have.

Does that change the order of your list??? Think carefully, as there really is not a wrong answer, but every answer is telling…

If you want to know about my performance priorities, I would be happy to share.

But you go first…

I will wait…

Karla Koon

Dance Educator/Choreographer

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