The Secret Life of Ballroom and Dentistry

Some of you will know by now (and for those of you that don’t) last year I spent 3 months of my life juggling dentistry and ballroom dancing – amongst a few other things!

The show is now on the TV under the title “The secret life of the ballroom” It should have been called ‘how to juggle a consultancy job whilst ballroom dancing and having a camera crew following you around!’

People often say to me ‘how do you do it?’ ‘how do you keep your energy and passion in everything you do?’

I thought I would let you in on some tips of how I have managed to be successful, in both my work and personal life and how I have achieved a wonderful work life balance.

The important starting point in anything you do, is that you have to love what you are spending time doing. I know it is easy to say, but actually understanding what you want to do, is the firm footing for creating the life you want.

I found my passions early on in life dentistry and theatre. But is passion enough on it’s own? Well, my belief is yes it is,  but it has to be backed up by implementation, which for me, is why training is so important. In my time I have studied hard, been taught, asked many questions and listened to the right people. I have spent time reading to increase my knowledge and I have signed myself up to learn new skills; always out of my comfort zone but the only way to learn. Always remember though if you do not like what you are doing, you will absorb nothing!

Self discipline is important in accomplishing, and it is your own motivation and drive that will ultimately lead to success. When I am consulting, I prepare for each day to make it the very best day it can be. When I am training I allow myself to be 100% in the moment, to focus entirely on the task in hand and not to worry about anything else that is going on. I found that in ballroom dancing it was important to be in the moment and to concentrate on things I could control, not what I couldn’t. Do I worry? Do I get nervous? Yes.

It is natural to worry and be nervous and you know what? It is healthy to have a bit of both, it means you care and want to do your best. To succeed though is down to practice and rehearsing and making sure that you are prepared for the moment.

In dentistry we have a lot of communication to do, especially with the team and patients’. Each day you need to feel prepared and in control of each conversation you have, with a team member and patient to make it the very best you can. Winging it is not an option, you will always miss something out and sometimes this can lead to a negative outcome. For me being prepared is a habit I have formed and I work hard to be that way.

Management in dentistry and ballroom dancing is much the same. There is a system for everything in dentistry, you just have to formulate it and share it, which is much the same as in ballroom dancing. In dancing there is a correct way to do every step, each arm position, head position, how to work in synergy with your partner. Systems and learning dance steps can be tedious, the constant repetition to get it right, but that is where you have to add energy, passion and a drive to have fun and to create an environment that supports not only growth in yourself but also with the people around you.

In completing all my dental consultancy, ballroom practice, camera time and competitions, it was all reliant on me being organised, prioritising my workload every week and being motivated to get through my jobs lists. You cannot underestimate working smartly and I find in practice there is a lot of wasted time in not grouping certain tasks together. It is easier to schedule things into blocks than flitting from one thing to another, feeling very busy is actually overwhelming but not actually productive! I know there were times in rehearsals mentally I had to really focus on the task in hand, learning the ballroom steps so that I got the most out of my training. Make sure you are focusing on the tasks in hand to, flitting is a bad habit.

I hope that has given you a little insight in how I have created my success, it is not by accident, I like so many people work very hard to keep myself in the right place to keep on achieving.

Enjoy “Secret life of the ballroom” it was worth all the logistical management, as now I have the pleasure of watching the fruits of my hard work.


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