Being in the cheer and dance industry for many many years now, you tend to grow accustomed to certain types of people. This crazy industry of ours is an ever constant growing and changing industry, and along with that come the ever growing competition to be on top.
As I have started my transition form dancer to just Judge/Choreographer I have started to think about how I am going to brand myself as such. With this I have started to look to the “elders” for ideas and inspiration., and looked at my peers to learn and grow from. Facebook seems to be the quickest way of transferring information, especially when forming groups with coaches, peers, etc. When drama is afloat, EVERYONE is in the discussion and present, however, when asking questions to peers it goes one of two ways, the most common being the ghost effect when suddenly everyone is too busy to respond;
Me: “Hey guys I have a question about [Topic], what do you guys think?”
Peers: ::Crickets::…or on the glorious occasion, someone will pull through and offer some advice. There’s always that one, thank god for that person.
I was recently chatting with a friend and colleague about how we share ideas very often and concepts, and ways we do things to help each other out, and, ironically, this topic came up. We were talking about how sharing ideas doesn’t put anyone else ahead of you, and an idea is useless unless armed with creativity, or drive. SO simply sharing an idea isn’t going to put someone ahead unless you have stopped your driving creative force. For example, I recently showed her my way of editing music, the program I use, how I change things and manipulate etc. Now, yes I have given her the knowledge on how to edit music, what she does with this is now on her. By me showing her the program I use or how to use said program, it will not miraculously make her an amazing music editor. Or by her watching me choreograph isn’t going to give her the movement to create and amazing routine. And yes, they can take your choreography and twist it a little and use your formula, and piece together old routines you’ve done,, BUT, that well will eventually dry up and then they are left with nothing but out dated choreography, and no one to help. The only way to learn in the industry is to watch, learn, be open minded, and build off of what you have been shown.
So my advice to people growing in the industry and looking to brand themselves is this. Share your knowledge! In return more will share and we will become a community of creative artists and colleagues, not competitors. Don’t think that by harboring an idea it will get you ahead of your opponents, because when you compete with bad intentions, you’ll never fully grow as a competitor. Along with that advice for the receiving and growing end, don’t copy people, use people as inspiration instead. As artists, there are no copyright laws for us to use. We look at art and let it inspire us to take the concepts and ideas and make them our own, we grow every day by looking at what our peers have accomplished, and congratulating them on their achievements, because like you, they have worked hard at what they do and you would want the same. Blatantly copying someone just shows lack of effort on your part as an artist. Be happy with your work and receptive of criticism, after all, were all in this together.