Dance... and Public Relations? Give Me A Break!
By Dennette Bennett
Some may question dance as a profession; some may even question public relations as one but what some may never know is how both of them are one and the same.
As a senior at Hofstra University, desperately searching for a job post-grad, one thing that has helped me obtain an internship was my background knowledge in dance. I know, shocking, right? Well, as different as they may seem, they both have just one goal: to communicate.
When people hear that you chose dance as a profession, you can count on that blank stare
that wasn’t meant to insult you intentionally, but almost always does. But what they don’t know is that dance has many positive attributes that contribute to excellent communication skills. Through dance, we can understand the mechanics of body language and nonverbal communication. By training in dance, you can become better at both interpreting and communicating nonverbally. Interpersonal nonverbal communication is essential for building personal and professional relationships and can be a powerful tool for connecting with others at school, home, and future careers. You may ask why this is so important, but you see, as humans, we are continuously communicating messages through nonverbal communications. This could be useful in board meetings, presentations with clients, or merely improving your colleagues’ relationships.
Just like dance, public relations doesn’t receive the recognition that it deserves. You may not realize it, but everywhere you go, PR is there. From headlines to commercials, the substance is all based on content created by PR professionals. Public relations is one of the most versatile professions out there, crafting the messages the public sees without ever being seen or heard. Most importantly, PR tries to leverage an opportunity. To ultimately provide a newsworthy angle to put the client at hand in a better light.
Dancers are the first-hand product of development. They have a rich understanding of how vital the process is towards the end goal. Between the hour-long rehearsals that almost make you question why you started dancing in the first place to finally hitting that stage and making all the worthwhile, dance truly prepares you to develop strategies to best suit clients’ needs. Dancers learn how to navigate unpredictability and remaining patient through taking classes, conducting, and participating in rehearsals and performances. Like dancers, PR professionals must understand the importance of experimenting with multiple solutions before finalizing an end product. There is always a focus on appearance and audience perspective in dance and public relations, creating aesthetic and accessible content. Although one communicates through words and the other through movement, they both strive to reach an audience through meaningful words/ gestures. The goal is to create an identity that is synonymous with your/ the client’s brand. Both PR professionals and dancers value the honesty and credibility that goes behind developing and maintaining an image. They know how to work independently while knowing when to collaborate with their peers for a more favorable outcome. They seek constructive feedback while confidently knowing when they offer something new to the table.
The next time you think you have to choose between a passion and a career, try combining the two and see what you come with. They might be beneficial to one another and may land you your dream career (at least that’s what I hope will happen in my case).
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