Betsy Decillis

What Ballet Has to Do with Social Media—and How it Can Help

By: Betsy Decillis | September 5, 2018 | 
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ballet and social mediaSo what’s going in my little corner of social media?

I took a ballet class, and it changed my life.

Sound dramatic? Absolutely.

Is it true? Um, heck yeah.

Just ask anyone if they can get me to shut up about ballet right now. Don’t worry. I’ll wait here.

And yes, Laura Petrolino and Gini Dietrich are the perfect people to ask.

Did they tell you how they’ve considered blocking my social media just so they don’t have to hear about my tutu one more time?

Yup, I have a tutu, and I have no idea what it’s for beyond being super fun to jump in. I love it.

Guys, I have a special announcement. I am taking my talents to @fluxflowdance next week to take a class with @biscuitballerina. I know you have some questions, so I’m here to answer them. 1. You’re a pretty awesome dancer. Why are you taking a class? I know, right? I finally have an opportunity to dance with someone that can meet my talent and I just can’t pass it up. I’m hoping she can make my Odette wings extra extra. 2. Betsy, you’re a chubby 37 year old. Did you need the tutu? Yes. 3. Didn’t your sister beg you not to wear the tutu in public? Probably. I tuned out when she said I didn’t need a tutu when I obviously did. 4. Does this mean you’ll leave your past behind as an expert boy band dancer? No, I just now have a tutu to wear while demonstrating my awesome technique. 5. Couldn’t you just have signed up for the class and not tell us? Did you miss the part where I have a tutu? 6. Do you even know where your ballet shoes are? Probably. They’re in my house for sure. 7. Why? I don’t understand. Do you not see that I’m a fabulous swan? #biscuitsforlikes #letsbiscuitthis #swanup #biscuitballerina #ineedfeathers #andafan #nevergrowingup #donttellmyhusbandaboutthetutu #likeforreal #hedidntliketheladyhat #whodoesntlovealadyhat

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Anyways, I probably should bring this around to social media, since you know, I can’t really make money off of my budding ballet career… yet.

Ballet Makes You Feel Good

Is this a good time for a quote?

When you dance, it’s easy to glaze over. But look at something. Maybe it’s the person next to you. Just notice what’s around you. ~~Shelby Williams

You should follow her account, Biscuit Ballerina, on Instagram; it’s my favorite.

It celebrates the human side of ballet. The falls. The sickled feet. The OMG-I-CANNOT-BE-PERFECT-ALL-THE-TIME parts.

When she told our class to notice things, I instantly realized I was noticing every single thing I was doing wrong and glazing over everything else.

You know, the fun parts.

And the second I got that correction, I marveled at how pretty my hands were.

And then I looked down and noticed my feed did something pretty as well.

Oh, and hey, something felt really good.

Wait…I haven’t gotten into social media yet, have I? Okay, let’s go there now.

Social Media is Exhausting

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have been glazing over on social media.

I’m not taking in as much as a way to protect myself from fans intent on taking clients down and an all-around mean edge to everything.

Those negative comments require so much.

The perfectly crafted response after taking the time to feel better over the gut punch.

And then making space for self-care to deal with the mental toll of being told you suck.

Becoming somewhat detached and much more mechanical in your social media practices seems like the logical solution.

And that’s what’s happened.

It’s all become more about the scheduling and automation and less about the actual connection between real human beings.

Less noticing. Less social. More chasing clicks and likes.

That’s no way to live life.

Notice What’s Happening Around You

So let’s reframe this.

What happens if you actually notice what’s going on around you?

What are your beautiful hands and feet?

For me, it’s that one guy who said he needed ideas of what to do in a client’s town. We had a connection as we were gushing about what he loves and how my client’s town had it all.

He ended up writing a series of blog posts on that client. And he is constantly telling anyone who’ll listen that he loves that client’s town.

If I close myself off and put up a wall between me and my fans, I wouldn’t have moments like this which lead to long-lasting relationships.

And I’d be missing a lot.

Long-lasting results and a deeper connection to what fans need from our social media presence.

And the plus of those long-lasting relationships?

People who think you’re showing interest in them tend to do things. They talk about how much they like you (win).

They create passionate content people react to (win!). And they fight back for you against trolls (OMG, WIN!).

Letting People in is Magical

To be honest, it’s like any relationship.

When you are vulnerable and say, “I care for you,” it can be super scary.

But letting people in can bring magical things into your life both online and off.

So take a second and gut check.

Is there something you’re automating which might be better-suited to receiving your attention?

Have you been creating a wall between you and the fans?

When was the last time you were gushing with fans on social media?

How can you be a more open and responsive social media manager?

Does that mean you need to give yourself over to social media at the expense of your mental health?

C’mon guys. Y’all know me better than that.

As you’re letting people in and some of that internet mean comes through to prick your skin, you also need to look for those things that bring you joy.

Those beautiful moments of connection on social media are a start. But you can do better.

Do Better by Noticing More

Take a ballet class. Buy a pair of ballet shoes and a tutu. Covet a fan (OMG, I NEED A FAN SO BAD).

Realize you probably won’t get a fan, so use your hand to mimic how awesome a fan would be in your life.

Clear your husband’s man cave workout room so you can dance in a way that really expresses your FEELINGS.

Stare at your husband intensely as he looks dumbfounded at what he just walked into.

And then stare at his retreating back as he ignores your request to pick you up and spin you around.

I mean, none of that has ever happened to me, but I’m sure it would be super joyful if it did.

Notice more of your joy both online and off.

You will be amazed at the higher quality online results you will get.

Photo by Bruno Horwath on Unsplash

About Betsy Decillis


Betsy A Decillis is the owner of BAD Consulting, a social media agency focused on tourism and nonprofits. When she's not making social media magic, she wears a tutu while worshipping her cat, Cesare. Her husband isn't amused.

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