In an ideal situation, you’d get by in life without ever making a fool of yourself. In an ideal situation, Dumbledore would have never walked in on you (me) in a wide-stance doing a quality rendition of I Whip my Hair at 8:00AM. In an ideal situation, you’d (I’d) have the aesthetic of cool so far ingrained into your being that you would never have to walk away from an event replaying it in your head over and over again, grimacing at something you either said or did, and wishing that you could take it back.
The aesthetic of cool runs way deeper than just the vernacular dance (…jazz) that we all know and love; the aesthetic of cool is honestly your golden ticket to success.
While there are many shades of gray in between the two extremes of cool to chill the F out, when you cross the threshold into “you’re freaking out”…things usually aren’t too pretty at that point. When I’m in panic mode, I’m not entirely certain that I’m in complete control of my attitude, temper…or even my facial expressions; and especially in the case of the former, that can’t be cute or even kind of fun to be around–I also often walk away from those kinds of situations feeling a little embarrassed…
I currently serve as the concert coordinator for my department where it’s my job to organize the semester-auditions for the dancers, casting, feedback, concert-auditions and then each show. While I’d like to believe that I’m in complete control of every situation as it happens, I have my fierce assistant Brooklyn who loves to remind me (often) when I cross the not-so fine line from “cool” to “chill the F out, you freaker-outer!”
Example: Last week during feedback when we were running 1.5hours behind, how many people could tell just by looking at my face that I wanted to cry and make sweet love to a Happy-Meal while rocking in the corner and singing Britney’s Stronger??
(The answer: Probably everyone…)
It’s a pretty clear indication that you’re approaching dangerous waters when you’re paralyzed by the energy-sucking drama of the life that you’ve surrounded yourself by– CHILL THE F OUT, Dyva!!! It’s during these times that I find it necessary to remind myself of what the aesthetic of cool actually means, and then I instantly find the strength to cakewalk my way back to sanity.
Aesthetic of Cool|esˈθetik əv koōl|noun
“…the control, transcendental balance, and directing one’s energy with a clear purpose in mind.”
**Quoted from Jacqui Malone’s Steppin’ on the Blues, what a Dyva
•Sonya Tayeh, that bitch owns the aesthetic of cool!
Anytime I meet an artist in the dance community that has “made it” (we’ll discuss what it means to make it another day…) I’ve noticed that the dancers I want to be instant-best friends with are the people that are so secure in their craft that they can’t be bothered by the drama of freaking out over trivial nonsense. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?!? (…there I go again…)
Because our careers are not only made by our talent, but also by who we know and how we market ourselves, I think mastering this cool should be top priority. People want to be around other people who are :
- Indispensably talented
- In control of themselves (…don’t be an animal)
I also have a feeling that this may have a little something to do with taking a daily slice out of that humble pie we talked about; when you’re able to keep things in perspective and see things for what they really are, (you’ll still probably love on that Happy-Meal) but all of a sudden you’re free from all of the drama.
Time to share, imagine that we’re sitting in a friendship circle, what are those situations that push you into the danger zone?—and how do you maintain your aesthetic of cool?