Written by Brooke Fabian (Communication undergraduate student; Professional Ballet Dancer with Dayton Ballet)
In a world filled with successful communication professionals, how do you distinguish yourself as a unique and valuable contributor? As I embark on my journey toward a career in communication, I plan to demonstrate my full potential by translating skills from the outside field of professional ballet. Whether you are seeking new employment or looking to advance in your current company, adapting strengths and abilities from alternative areas of expertise can help you reach new heights in your career.
As a professional ballet dancer, I have dedicated more than 17 years to mastering the art of dance. Comparing a lifetime of training in dance to a 4-year degree program in communication, it was easy to feel unprepared for my quickly approaching communication career. My breakthrough came when I realized—why limit my potential by isolating my two career paths, when I can translate my many experiences and learned qualities from professional ballet into my communication skill-set?
Learning agility, a key trait for professional success, is the ability to gather knowledge from various experiences and continuously make meaning of those lessons in alternative applications. By use of learning agility, I found that my experiences in professional ballet have prepared me well for a successful career in communication.
Ballet has given me the confidence to perform in front of groups of people. Whether I am dancing on stage or presenting a speech, I have learned how to transform nerves into positive energy that helps me capture the audience and maintain focus. Ballet has also sculpted me into an analytical thinker: one who can easily analyze details, develop solutions and strive for perfection. Not to mention, dancers spend years continuously working to master the same set of movements; it is a humbling process that strips dancers from complacency and teaches ultimate determination.
Ballet has taught me how to adapt to new environments and respond well to feedback. In the competitive world of ballet, failing to quickly adapt to new techniques or environments can easily hold dancers back from necessary progression. Dancers also learn to deal with highly critical feedback from a young age. As a young adult, I now value those early experiences, because they taught me to maturely accept feedback and quickly apply critiques to my work. Above all, dedicating my life to a career in performing arts, has instilled passion into my character. It has shown me not only hard work, but also the rewards that are worth working for. With these characteristics in action, I am ready to take on a new set of goals.
In entrance to my communication career, I intend to exercise learning agility and demonstrate how my most influential life experiences continue to prepare me, motivate me and qualify me as a valuable addition to the world of communication. From pointe shoes to public relations, ballet provides me with the unique tools I need to succeed in the field of communication. So, with a fresh perspective, take the next leap in your career.