You’ve Reached the Top… Now What?

Playing the professional game of dance requires a little bit of ladder climbing. Its a dangerous game for teenagers to play because their motivations are not always in the right place. Many girls just want to be Queen Bee for the entourage. Many of the same are unaware of the burdens the crown carries. Even worse are the ones that base their entire self esteem on getting to that one place because after they get there, they peak.

Not all that glitters is gold and in the dance room, things are definitely not always what they seem. Being Top Dog in the studio won’t always land you in the front of room or on stage by yourself for a 20 minute solo. People in the front don’t always know what they are doing and the ones that goof off in the back aren’t necessarily the worst dancers- just the most cowardly. The same can be said about lead roles. Stage time doesn’t equal the best part. If a particular piece of choreography is bland and boring, the audience will be more interested in the shorter more challenging choreography. So don’t fret, wearing the tiara won’t make you magically amazing overnight; dancers can always tell who the best dancer in the room is. Hint: if you like to crack jokes about how sick someone else’s body control is, the best dancer in the room probably is not you.

For the elite few who make it to their dream role- I hate to say it- life sucks for you. Now that you are at the top, all eyes are on you whether you like it or not. The hungry ones are chomping at the bit, waiting for you to mess up so they can take your place. Others will challenge you on the daily to prove they’re better for their own self worth. And someone will always have something to say about how you got there and whether or not you can do the role justice. Many of the nay-sayers will be haters. It just can’t be avoided. They’re worse than cockroaches and twice as abundant. Your job as the Top Dog is to do you as best as you can and give the haters as little fuel for the fire as possible.

What many celebrities don’t understand when they reach super stardom is that they set the standard for the next generation to get to where they are. In the dance world, this means you become the epitome of how to do things correctly. Demonstrations fall on your shoulders, people ask you what comes next and if you don’t know, then why should the next Top Dog try to achieve more for their 15 minutes of fame? Example: if Charlie Sheen binge partys his way all the way to the top, then others will do the same to reach his status or fall hard trying. Let’s be honest, in life MANY people will fall short of super stardom. Would you rather be surrounded by people who fell short with admirable qualities, or people who fell short that are complete jerks and a waste to society?

For the ones that got to the Top and never deserved it, I’ve always wondered if they knew they were given a huge gift. We all know someone who has been there. They put in the most money, they knew the right people, they had the most influential parents, or everyone else available just sucked that much worse. For them, I hope they work that much harder out of respect for the role and out of respect for those that would do it better. It doesn’t matter who you are, someone always wants it more than you do.

There is not much else to say besides the fact that being at the Top means you should be the best, no questions asked or side comments made. You made it where everyone else could not and for those that can’t be at the Top, you owe them a reason for them to say “dang, maybe I couldn’t have been that good.”