The Lone Wolf
The lone wolf. Nearly every team has one. That individual, for whatever reason who doesn’t run with the traditional pack. On the dance floor they are the most creative, most versatile, and often most successful. What makes them different? Could be their willingness to experience new things with a hunger. Or maybe their desires to create new movements and excel in other areas of dance others won’t attempt. It’s that lone wolf attitude.
Some lone wolves fit in well in the traditional dance pack, others do not. A lot depends on the pack mentality, and it’s leaders. If the pack leaders fear a lone wolf, they will often – out of jealousy, or envy, find ways to attempt to set them aside. That fear of losing control to the lone wolf is a real fear to them.
However, when you have a team that respects ability, the lone wolf is generally picked as lead in most dance events. Lone wolf leaders are nice to have. They bring a level of experience and admiration to the group. Positive role models.
The lone wolf is really there to dance, not socialize so much. They have that competitive drive that is not missed by others. Most people don’t understand that need that fills them. Some might take their stand offishness as rude, or stuck up. That is generally far from the truth. They just have a great thirst for knowledge – dance knowledge, and they are studying it’s forms constantly. The hunt.
A lot of lone wolves grow up to be successful in their dancing. They don’t seem to be to much into the mom and pop dance studios, but rather are looking for serious dancers like themselves who bring a level of technical training to table. The lone wolf as an instructor is more likely to examine their students on the floor with a more critical eye than say a mom and pop instructor might. Years of hard core competition has molded most lone wolves understanding toward the value of proper technique. Their tolerance for the mom and pop is generally low.
The lone wolf can often be perceived as the leader without even trying. Individual dancers will often attempt to mimic the creative style of a lone wolf. Lone wolf’s like to win. They don’t rest until they do. It’s just hard wired into them to be successful. Usually you can spot your lone wolves early on in their training.
Attempting to change a lone wolf to conform to the pack is not a desirable thing. Your lone wolves tend to be more mature in many ways. Changing them or attempting too – isn’t necessary. What is necessary to help lone wolves excel even more is to keep the “would be’s” under control. The “would be’s” are those who just want to push their way through life, without a care about what is important to the lone wolf, others, or the continued success of the art of dance. The biggest concern is not that the lone wolf would get their feelings hurt, but rather that the “would be” may get bitten, and bitten hard. Remember a lone wolf is patient.
When you look at the faces of those under your instruction, how many lone wolves do you have? Do you really understand their needs? They may not be the pack favorite – but rather, the trail blazers, the one who brings competition to the table. They often compete, or rival, if you will, the pack favorite.
Some competition is good for a team – it motivates them to excel more.
The lone wolf doesn’t budge easily. They often lead without even meaning too. Others will look to them for memorization, synchronization, and technical helps.
There isn’t much disadvantages of having a lone wolf in your class. The plus side is much greater. The only area I would be worried for in a lone wolf situation is the potential for total isolation. How bad is your pack? Are they starved to death?
You have to teach everyone the same, and be fair. It is often a very different situation when you have a student who is way above the pack. They don’t necessarily challenge your authority, but they bring a level of perfection to the group, that pushes others. They also tend to, by design, fall into the lead spots, and they should. That is the merits of dance.
Look at the faces of your dancers. Do any of them have that lone wolf characterization? Are they demanding without being demanding? Do they have a level of control that stands out? Do they force others to challenge themselves? It’s by design that some will be good, and others will follow.