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What Dancers Can Learn From Kobe Bryant

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What motivates you to work towards greatness? For Kobe Bryant, it was his passion for basketball. Bryant explained in his Muse documentary that he used basketball as a source of refuge as he became his alter ego of the Black Mamba on the court. This passion motivated him to become one of the greatest players of all time. Many feel similarly about dance. It is a source of refuge. An escape from the repetition of daily life.  And while some of us don’t have a distinct alter ego, dance has the power to unlock our confidence and sense of self. 

As dancers, we make immense sacrifices to achieve our goals. These sacrifices are fueled by our passion for dance and desire to be great. A few years ago, I suffered from a severe injury. I had broken a bone in my first metatarsal (see “Recovery. Resilience. Revolution.” for more information). I reflected on this time as I recently read a Kobe Bryant quote “At what point does your determination and drive become unreasonable to where continuing on is just not possible?”. The failure that came from being overly determined and consumed by my professional pursuits, to the detriment of my health, taught me that while being determined and striving for greatness is generally positive, too much of anything can be detrimental and sometimes it is necessary to re-assess the practicality of one’s desired path. 

As we face challenges in our careers, we must keep our love of dance at the epicenter of all that we do and remember that much like Kobe Bryant, it is the excitement that comes from pursuing our passions that will continue to motivate us to strive for greatness.

Kobe Bryant will be remembered as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Let his legacy, courage, tenacity, and strength be an inspiration for all of us to follow our passions and shoot for the stars.

“As I sit here now, when I take off my shoe and I look down at my scar, I see beauty in it. I see all the hard work, all the sacrifices. I see the journey that it took to get back to this point of being healthy. And I see beauty in that struggle. That’s what makes it beautiful.” – Kobe Bryant, August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020

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