Don’t Be The Best
Being the best feels pretty damn good.
It’s fun to be the smartest in the room. The brightest in your field. The savvy instructor with all the answers. The most flexible yogi in class.
But when you’re always the best in the room, it gets pretty boring. Because you’re not really growing.
This past weekend I went to a workshop with the famous Yanis Marshall, a kick-ass street funk choreographer from France and now a worldwide sensation. Here’s sample of his work. https://youtu.be/kc17H68IKMs
When I entered the studio, I knew right away that I was going to be the worst one. I used to do contemporary and hip-hop, but that was over 10 years ago (besides I’m not a spring chicken anymore). At first, it rattled my self-esteem a little bit ( why can’t I keep up?). But pretty quickly, my perspective changed. I realized, “Ohhh right. I’m not the best one here—and that’s the whole point. I’m here to gain new skills that I don’t already have. Which means I’m exactly where I should be.”
I need to surround myself with dancers and choreographers who are better than me—more experienced, more creative, more visionary, with skills I don’t possess yet—so I can learn from them. That’s how I’ll rise into the next level of my career.
It’s not easy to go from being the best in the room… to being the worst in the room. Sometimes it’s pretty ego-crushing. But if you’re an artist, an instructor, a business owner, or choreographer, it’s so important to do this.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
—Nobel prize-winning biochemist James Watson
So if you’re taking a new class or workshop – be willing to be the worst. Surround yourself with people who are intimidatingly brilliant. People you can learn from. It’s the only way to stay on your game.
Instruct & Inspire,