July 25, 2013  • Musings

First ballet recital? Be a toucan.

I don’t know Sarah Jukes, although I’m kind of in love with her, specifically in response to her recent article (re-blogged by The Partnership Movement, courtesy of Americans for the Arts).

I spent a recent blog post talking about the contradictions we all embody (usually to fantastic end results), and she personifies the idea perfectly. She is a ballerina. And also a neuro speech-language pathologist. And she holds an MBA. (And it probably doesn’t hurt that she is an Australian New Yorker to boot.)

All of those aspects of her person enhance her being overall. Her business education enhances her language practice. Her travels and passport enhance her client service skills. And her experience in dance enhances her professional practices.

The pieces that comprise us add up to so much more than simply a list of credentials. We know that fact is true. We see it in those around us.  We see it in ourselves. But articulating that idea, especially to a skeptical audience, isn’t always easy.

FACT: Our pieces add up to much more than a list of credentials.
Ms. Jukes did it delightfully, though, when she outlined the “six reasons ballet dancers make awesome employees.” The list of adjectives spans from flexible (not the literal kind) to strong collaborators, well-prepared to hard working. All of the traits are desirable from an employer’s perspective, regardless of the job description. They are traits that help us identify those around us that are “keepers” (to paraphrase Steve Tobak’s article from Inc. last week) in both a professional and a personal context.

And those skills aren’t limited to employer-employee relationships. Not surprisingly, they are some of the same skills that make a fantastic entrepreneur. And a fantastic entrepreneur who doubles as a creative entrepreneur is complicated, contradictory, and limitless in the most delightful possible way.

Take a read through her list and the rationale for each. What similar traits are unique to your art?

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