Live to Dance: A story of having fun, leadership, and respecting different roles at work

a picture of flowers behind a stair rail in a home
a pictures of Cinceraria flowers with

Let’s Have a Dance-Off!

I love dancing.

I spent some time with one of my nieces this weekend, who also loves to dance.

She suggested that we have a dance-off.  It is important to note that she has been taking dance classes for 4 years or so, maybe even longer.  Also, she’s about 7 and a half. As you can imagine, she’s a pretty good dancer.

She’s full of energy, she’s fun, and she dances when she hears a beat.  

That beat she hears (imagine: 5,6,7,8!) keeps her on beat, whether the beat is coming from the radio or from the song in her head.

Now, I ask you to imagine her Aunt Terri.

I am older than 7 by about 4 decades. I also have high energy, am fun, and move my body ‘just a titch’ if I hear a beat.

One guess who won the dance-off. Actually, it depends who you ask. I say I did and she says she did.  

She tried to get her grandma (my mom) to be the judge, but Grandma was busy trying to ignore our antics; therefore, she was unable to declare a winner.

The issue for today: What drives us.

As I have mentioned in previous aricles, I have some unreliable ligaments. 

I have a habit of testing their limits, and since I am also very, very competitive, I wanted to win that dance contest.

I had to remember that even though I wanted to win and show that little girl what a ‘real’ dancer could do, her skills were well above mine.

She is currently in dance class each week, is talented in dancing skills and she is self-confident.

We have a mutual love of each other.

Later, when we were done with dancing (or during one of our many breaks where I was lying on the floor) we made a video on my phone.

In that video, she commented that I was the ‘worst aunt ever’.

I took it as the compliment that was intended.

No matter whether we are cooperating or coordinating with people who have similar traits to us, sometimes it works well to work together.

Sometimes it does not work as well and it causes stress and barriers.

Sometimes, what we like best in ourself becomes a frustration for us when we find the same characteristic in someone else.

The same can be true of someone with whom we share much less in common.  

A person who really likes to talk (guilty) frequently spends a lot of time with people who talk much less.

The compatibility of people who have opposite strengths can really work well together.

Imagine a couple who works well together with one who is more interested in big ideas and another who is more interested in the detail work.

Another example occurs with employees in a business who cooperate well together.  

I envision that some of those employees like to have decisions made for them, and some of the people working like to be decision makers.  

There are also people who have the role of middle managers, who prefer to have a balance of decision making and following decisions of others .

In a business, the leader, known as President or CEO or Executive Director, makes some of the final decisions.

The second in command might be shared by several people, or just one or two.  The seconds in commands, knowns as Vice Presidents, Executive Team, or Directors, tend to work well with their leaders when things are going well.

Some people in this position can be the people in charge of raising money for the organization (Development), the person in charge of making sure the organization run smoothly (Operations) and the person who is in charge of the quality of the work (Clinical).

A third group in the scenario are what are commonly referred to in the social service field as Direct Care workers, or front line staff.  Sometimes this group is referred to as ‘the people who do the work’.

This group includes the people who have the role of conducting the work that is the ‘meat’ of the business. Other terms for this role are ‘agents’ or ‘entry level’ positions.

The final group in this scenario is one of my other favorites, which is the person who has the title ‘Assistant’ in their job description.  An assistant’s role is to assist with what is needed.  

Their role can include helping the leader disperse information clearly and be prepared for meetings, answering the phone, and returning messages when the phone is not answered immediately.  

I refer to assistants as those who ‘keep the wheels running smoothly’.

When you have the chance to do something you love to do, or something which drives you and something you enjoy doing, I encourage you to find a way to do it.

I encourage you to work toward getting to the place where you have the opportunity to do things you enjoy, even if it is difficult.

I love to dance. The way that I meet that need is by listening to music, singing along, and moving my body a little bit.

Here’s a couple of final questions for this article:

What can you find to do today, this week, or within the month that is something you think about, that helps drive you?

How can you include the things that motivate you with the things that do not motivate you as much?

Have fun!


Published by terriparke

I have an MA in Community Counseling and a BS in Psychology. I like to provide mental health talk therapy, write, and consult. I'm an Indiana girl at heart, both the state and the University. My 20 something twin sons and older than 50 husband could tell you more-Happy reading!

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