What we can learn from Dancing With the Stars

I’ve always loved dance.  Took ballet lessons as a young girl until high school, and, as an adult, tap, interpretive jazz and even ballroom lessons.  When I hear certain types of music, I cannot stop myself from moving to the beat.  And so, it’s no surprise that Dancing with the Stars has been one of my favorite shows for the past several seasons.  I do love the glitz and the drama and I think there are some valuable business and life lessons here as well.  Here’s my take:


  1. If you want to learn how to do something well, learn from an expert.  I know from experience how hard some of those moves are.  Those pros take people with little to no talent or experience and transform them.  They are, of course, beautiful to watch.  And, I think their choreography is fantastic and usually, with just the right degree of difficulty to advance the student.  Brilliant!
  2. It’s not just about technical excellence.  It’s also about the performance itself:  the ability to entertain, to make an emotional connection and impact.  And, of course, it’s about your fan base too.  Even the judges seem disturbed when someone with big potential gets eliminated too early.  But hey, that’s life in the fast lane, isn’t it?
  3. Take responsibility and strive for incremental progress.  Pay attention to the feedback and use it to improve.  The contestants that make the most of their experience do not take the criticism personally, they work on what the judges tell them and voila!  They get better.  Ever notice how the defensive ones don’t advance as far?  A true metaphor for life.
  4. Support your competition.  I admit, that one of the aspects about this show that I enjoy the most is how much the contestants and professionals seem to root for each other.  Maybe that is put on and I prefer to think not…..I do believe that approaching our competition in any industry or profession as a good thing helps raise the bar for everyone.  In this case, everyone has a stake in elevating the idea of learning to dance.
  5. Relax and have fun.  The people who seem to enjoy the experience the most are the ones that are determined to work hard, get better and do their best each week with joy in their hearts and a smile on their faces.


To me, the back-stories are always interesting as well.  Last week’s episode when each performer told a significant life story through music and movement was particularly affecting.  It reminded me that, despite appearances, there is always more to a person than what we may see on the surface.  And that, my friends, is something worth remembering as we blast through our busy lives.


4 thoughts on “What we can learn from Dancing With the Stars

  1. Thank you for your open share of loving “Dancing with the Stars”. So appreciate learning more about you and your enjoyment of all aspects of the show, especially around the glitz!! Excited with your unspoken yet supportive guide, like any amazing expert leader, to invite me and others to examine the phrase “dancing through life” with new energy, new perspective, and different timing.
    Curios, was there music playing in the background when you wrote this blog?
    Even asking the question above after reading your fabulous share, reminds me to remember that the music which helps you to move may not be the same music that touches my soul and feet. Of course it will be nice to hear your response, yet I also know that the contestants and even experts have their prefernces. Identifying my own preferences, passions and music is essential to “dance through life”. I think the biggest misstep for me has often been to stay with the same routine too long, no longer the challenge life demands.
    I see some missteps which I will address today and am excited to try some new steps.
    See you on the dance floor soon!

  2. My parents were visiting and insisted that we watch this show. As someone who doesn’t watch much TV, especially “reality” shows, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed. I couldn’t agree more with your observations.

  3. You’re dead on, Cheryl. One reality show I’m hooked on is Kitchen Nightmares with Chef Gordon Ramsey. I don’t know a ladle from a griddle, but I pay close attention to the steps Gordon takes to identify the Restaurant’s problems, address and fix them, and make drastic transformations. We can apply his process to ANY business!

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