What’s Your Super Secret Skill?
Back in high school, I took almost every art class offered. Drawing, painting, sculpture—if it fit my schedule, I had to take it. Art became a hobby of mine and, it turned out, I actually had a knack for it. The piece pictured here is one that hangs in my house today; I think I was 16 when I drew it. It’s something I’m pretty proud of!
While dance—and eventually teaching and entrepreneurship—became my passion, drawing remained my secret skill. It’s come in handy while coming up with ideas for logos and advertisements and new programs, plus the very act of getting out my pen and paper still soothes my soul on a hard day. In fact, even when I’m in a meeting or at a conference, I still prefer a blank notebook over one with lines—that way, I can draw out my thoughts instead of writing complete sentences.
It’s always in the background, this little side skill. And I’m going to guess that, like me, you probably have a super skill in your pocket too!
A couple years ago, I asked some of our More Than Just Great Dancing® members what super secret skills they had. My mind was blown—no kidding! Here’s a sampling of the answers I got: figure skating, baking and decorating cookies, sewing wedding dresses, working on cars, Olympic-level karate training, gardening and growing fruits and vegetables, building computers, interior designing, and professional singing.
OK, so these skills may not be so secret anymore, but WOW! I was so impressed by these studio owners and the talents they honed in their youth (and for some of them, skills they continue to use in their side businesses). How cool is it to know this about other people’s gifts?
I share this with you for two reasons: first, because I think it’s noteworthy to remind ourselves that we exist beyond the dance studio owner’s life. While our life’s work in the dance industry is one of our top-most priorities, it’s these unique skills that keep us humble, creative, quick-thinking, versatile, and appreciative. And second, because I think it’s worth celebrating these skills in others. Just ask your spouse, friends, employees, or students—people light up when they talk about their “past lives,” their special talents, or their new pursuits.
In fact, I encourage you to bring this up at your next staff meeting or student leadership gathering. Ask people to share something they’ve studied or learned that others may not know about … this could even be a skill that would potentially benefit the studio! Perhaps the young employee who loves sewing could help with minor costume alterations, or the student who is talented with software could assist with editing music.
You just never know what gifts lie inside someone until you ask. And, don’t forget to start with yourself. 🙂