Christy & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives this past week. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.
Watch the episode here:
Coffee chat with Christy & Susanne | What does it mean to be an Influencer
What does it really mean to be an influencer
We found ourselves frustrated with watching influencers on several social media channels and really looked at them and what they were saying, how they were saying it, what they were trying to influence others with, and to what, and we just couldn’t believe it. We were appalled. Is this where we’re going as a world? Is this what we’re buying into? Because we’re seeing the Gucci earrings and the Versace necklace. And that’s cool. That’s where you want to go. Not saying that isn’t an admirable goal. We’d love to have a Versace, and we will absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t see through what’s going on. It doesn’t mean we will do everything for it. We ought to meet our goals and values without selling ourselves.
Looking at what’s going on in the performing artists/influencer realm and the ballet dance influencer, soloists and principal dancers become influencers by teaching what they’ve been taught.
We want to establish what it means to be an influencer, what kind of responsibility we carry, when we’re stepping into that world, understanding that being an influencer doesn’t mean you can just sit there and look pretty. It is hard work because you are constantly learning. But you should be more concerned about what you can learn and offer to the world, and what your new Tiffany’s can influence others in a good way versus you showing yourself because you’re eating it.
Responsibility towards delivering value
If you’re going to share value, is there value to what you’re sharing? There’s a responsibility because whether or not you were taught to stop eating at 5pm, is that really a healthy thing? It’s keeping you skinny, but is that really for your highest good, or just because it’s keeping you skinny? And then the little ones or even the adults who watch and follow you, that’s a gross responsibility. If you’re being watched by little ones, and they look at you in a different light, even beyond it, and they idolize you, you might be the catalyst for toxic behaviour in their little worlds. That is a big responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The virtual world is now global. There’s such a large scope. We have no idea who we’re actually talking to. If we’re going to take that kind of role, we need to have some sensitivity to our audience and where their headspace might be, because it won’t necessarily be where ours is. If you’re able, do you have the level of consciousness as an influencer, to think about where your advice is coming from? Is it coming from insecurities of you, that you’re now energetically sharing with others to either validate their insecurities or perhaps develop them? So that’s when we see the parade. When we see the parading of looks, money, showing off and all that, that’s wonderful, abundance and great, if there’s some other value underlying, or are you always just prancing around trying to show off? Do you need validation by the recognition and the likes and putting yourself out there for the world? Why are you being an influencer? Is it because you need that validation or because you have a value that you’re ready to step into a platform to share with the world?
What are we teaching this younger generation of artists coming in? We’re teaching exactly the same that we were taught. And we may think, well, that has worked. “She wasn’t sure she has all these contracts she makes? She’s still a doctor. She can do whatever she wants to after that.” But do we ever ask the question, is that true fulfillment? Is she happy? What is she doing that is not shown on Instagram? What do the low points look like? We don’t want that, too, because we only see the glamour, we only see the success, and we don’t see the struggle, the daily struggle in here. That is a certain level of awareness that is needed to ask these questions. We can take anything in for face value, and we can blindly believe what they all tell us. But is that really our truth? Is this what we need because we took on so much from everybody else around us, influencing who they wanted us to be as a dancer, a woman, a person, a wife. When we’re coming into this or becoming ourselves again, we are able to drop all of this and be influenced by what we need, what we want.
Influencing as a responsibility
We have people in our lives that we look up to, and they scare the living daylights out of us. We know that quality of life, and not necessarily influence, but fulfillment is what we want. It’s what’s in here that needs to come out. We are so done denying ourselves that we must be a certain way, or we must not be seen or, to beat it out. It’s that knowledge or knowing or coming to the lightning that’s coming in right now to knowing that, we don’t have to listen to all of it, we can just do us in every single possible way. Influencers are great and you can take out whatever you need in that moment, but don’t forget that you are you and that’s your superpower. You need to know who you are and what you want very precisely to not fall into that trap. And if you’re choosing to be an influencer, know very clearly the responsibility that you carry. It is not all sunshine and rainbows; it is responsibility. It is learning and being open to not being perfect. It is self-development.
Traditional thinking an enemy of creative thinking
Traditional thinking is truly the enemy of any kind of creative thinking, and you are not an influencer if you’re just following old traditional thinking. There seems to be, whether it’s conscious or unconscious, a level of necessary torture to be an artist. The world believes that you need to be a bit tortured to be a proper artist. In the dance world, we’ve had generations of trauma. We all have trauma. Everybody holds it, and it looks different for everybody. But we work through it.
Influencers in the Performing Arts world
With influencers coming into the performing arts world too, it’s like a level of allowing the dance world to become like Hollywood. For the first time ever, in Hollywood, people make movies there, they might be brilliant actors or directors or whatever. But somehow over this last century, they’ve also then become the influencers of how we decide, how we feel about ourselves, what we wear, what we do, how we even ask sometimes because we watch it in a movie. So it’s not just them being in their craft, they’ve in this world become people that we idolize and emulate. And now this influencer wave is this century’s version of that where people can get on the internet, become famous and whatever their background is, but it’s the next level or another thing for us to go to and idolize people, worship them, and wish we had their car. It’s another way for us to feel bad about ourselves when it’s fronted like that because it’s fronted that they’re great and they want to be idolized.
The level of awareness you need as an influencer
Dancers have never had the ability to be famous out in that capacity, not in a Baryshnikov capacity. There’s been very few dancers before the century that have had that. It’s a really, interesting thing. To have that kind of influence, you have to have a level of awareness for it not to go to your head, so it could very easily go to your head, and that’s where we go back to the responsibility of finding that balance of,’ You went from thousands of people knowing you to maybe millions of people knowing you and following your Instagram or following you on TikTok. How can you stay humble and keep the message clear of how you want to show up and what you actually want to help people do, or are you just liking the fame and wanting to be in front of a camera?
Shaping the next generation
Actors like Will Smith or Matthew McConaughey, all are very well-versed actors, but as human beings look at their life, or their relationship, look at what they have built in their personal wealth. And they’ll check it off money, in order to live that life in order to keep that ability to be wanted, to stay relevant. And that takes evolution, asking yourself questions, on who you want to be. Take months off and go meditate. and ‘I’m just going to get in my bus with my dog, and we’re going to drive and I’m going to go and meditate my way through this, whatever I’m feeling right now. Because we want to become a better version of ourselves. And that’s the kind of influence that you write.
The dance industry, even Broadway. Nobody has ever seen it as possible to have that kind of reach in the world because we were always so in the belief of, well, we have our fans, they give us money, come to the theatre, and we say in our local community, and now the whole world is open. It was open before 2020. But 2020 gave the little nudge to pay.
So to understand what this wonderful tool holds has responsibility. It is a huge responsibility because you are shaping the next generation, and if we find ourselves complaining that we can’t get up in the morning, if we find ourselves complaining that we wish we would be able to eat more, if you find yourself complaining that you’re not okay with how many hours you spent in the studio, then ask the right questions. How can you change it and lay the foundation for that next generation that you’re teaching to work really, hard in order to be successful that they don’t have to do that? Because then you truly are an influencer; everything else, really is just pitter-patter.
Making a difference
Making a difference in many people is the only way you can achieve a legacy for yourself. We don’t go inwards looking at where we’re at, where we have come from, and where we want to go on a daily basis, we want to lose sight. And we’re not going to see what we accomplish, nor will we be able to recognize what’s in front of us, if we don’t see what we have achieved. The way you look at the external world, you don’t know if it’s coming from you or someone else, but why you’re doing something or why you feel a certain way unless you go within.
Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.
So much ❤ Susanne
About Christy Little
Former professional dancer turned entrepreneur who is passionate about living in purpose and assisting people to see the greatness inside of them to live their ideal life.