This past week was a little crazy, what with all the midterms and papers. I'm really pleased with my classes so far though. Through a combination of hardly ever being in my dorm room, studying a lot at the library, and generally trying to manage my time well, I'm finding that I'm able to put a surprising number of hours into the competition team while still being successful at my classes. We had auditions for the BLAST show last night, which was.. fun I suppose :P More than anything it was really taxing. I wanted to sleep but then I had to dance instead. The nice thing about being a veteran of the show and BLAST is that you kind of don't really NEED to audition. I mean.. all of the choreographers already know how you dance. For the most part, if you're decent, you can kind of have your pick of whatever piece you want to be in. The exception to this is that I get typecast as a "smooth" dancer, which is alright because I like those, but this year I made sure to say I didn't really want to be in a smooth piece, unless it was Argentine Tango. I also said I really only wanted to be in a Latin piece, and Kaitlin's Swing. I figure.. why reallly do what I do all the time? It's my last year, I want to fill in the gaps of things I haven't done yet.
Being the co-captain of the competition team has also given me a chance to develop a side of myself that I've never really paid that much attention before. Meaning, being the leader of a group. In the past I was also content to play second fiddle, you know, pride myself that I was being a good right-hand man. Or whatever. Whenever I ran for class council I wanted to be the Secretary, not the President. Now that I'm in a position of leadership, I've become really interested in the influx of ideas I have for the team. There's SO many ideas.. the real problem is now figuring out how to put these ideas in motion. The other thing I've become intensely aware of is the whole idea of team dynamics. They're really such a fickle thing. Like, you don't give one person attention for two practices in a row, and they get pretty frustrated. Which means.. you're doing something wrong, right?
I'm in a constant state of analyzing how I can structure things better and how I can communicate with people to make it better. Last night I was reading further in "The Leadership Challenge," which I'm sort of modeling a lot of my life on these days, and realize "This needs to be more of a group effort." I need to do less; I need to motivate other people to do more.
From now on after Latin practices I want to start having a little "coffee" session, where people can come and talk to Diana and I informally about their frustrations with the team, how they think things should be done differently, etc. It's exciting to be in my position because really, I can do anything with this team. It's never been established before, so however we do it now.. nobody can look back and be like "well it was way better before."
I've found the other difficult thing is the fact that I'm not just a team leader, I'm also a teacher. I've come to realize the importance of being energetic and lively even when I don't necessarily feel that way. Think about it - if team members come to practice, and they're excited about learning new things, and they've got all this gung-ho attitude toward it, think of how they'd feel if their captains came in and were completely dead. Complained about being tired, or were too wrapped up in their own stuff to pay attention to them. I think it would take a triply dedicated person to want to keep coming to practices that were run by zombies. Everyday I want to match or surpass their energy level, to be as excited or crazy as they are. My goal is to help them get to their own goals. And some of them are reaaallly ambitious... haha.
Anyway, I think it's really good for me. I like it a lot. I think also that being in this position has let me to be more of a "I want respect, not love" kind of a person. I need to keep that in mind a lot. So even if someone doesn't like me personally, that's okay. I wonder if it's possible to have someone trust you but not like you? I think it's possible to have someone trust and respect you though.
Basically, things are good. I feel like everyday is a new opportunity for me to push myself. I've started sitting in on Graduate school classes - both IMC and Kellogg - just to see what they're all about. I like this whole idea of exploring new opportunities. Just because you're a senior doesn't mean you should start wrapping things up. On the contrary, this is the year to continue to discover what pushes you and what makes you stretch and what you might like more than what you're already doing.