Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dear Members...

people sometimes ask me, how do u do it? how do u deal with everything? any tips on how to make a cover group succeed? i'm not saying that epsilon is all that successful, but we have succeeded in our own way. we have survived for more than a year, and we still going strong as a group. i just want to write about this, as my experience, being leader in my cover group.

it was about 2 years ago, around this time, i had just gotten better from 4 months sick in hospital, and finally i can walk again. and the only thing i can think about is....i need to dance~ and i want to dance with my very own cover dance group!

over the span of 2 years, i have worked with many people, accepting many new dancers in my life and trying to create the perfect group, a group i can work well with, a group that works. i have gone through many different situations, and met with many other groups who have gone through it too. i feel, we all share the same experience, and learned many lessons that ought to be of help for others. the number one key in any functioning group is COMMUNICATION. everyone must understand what every other person is going through. if not, the group dynamic will not exist.

as the leader, i will explain this in the eyes of a leader of the group.

in the beginning, it will always start with looking for members. like many others have experienced, its not easy looking for people to dance with u. and likely when u ask them, they all will depend on u to become leader. the thing is, becoming leader meant alot of responsibilities. i have heard from many new groups, and the hardships that the leaders have to go through, and so many of them complain the same thing. and like many people, i, too, first balked at the thought of all the responsibilities that was expected of me. i didnt want to become leader, i just want to be dancer. but the truth is, there will never be a group if it is without a leader. someone just has to do it.

as a leader, one is expected to teach the other members. it was never established that the leader has to be the best dancer, but leader will always be responsible for every members dance step, dance mistake, and overall performance of the group. the other members will rely on the leader to make sure this happens, because that is the leader's responsibility. but when a leader is so busy teaching and fixing and motivating the other members, then who is teaching, fixing and motivating the leader?

as a leader, one is expected to arrange other members well being. if they cant come, the leader must find solution for transport. if there is clash in schedule, the leader must arrange time for practice for everyone to work together, or separately if needed. the leader must make sure the members are fine with the schedule, that it does not make anyone feel like the schedule is taking too much part of their lives, allow them to still live normally (go out for movies, family gatherings etc.) if the members cant get costumes, the leader must work out their costumes, make sure everyone gets everything in time.yes, sometimes it feels like a burden for members to sacrifice their free time and money. so the leader must sacrifice own time and money to make up for every members needs. the leader is expected to give the other members as much free time as possible in the expense of the leader's own time. the leader must make sure the members are happy, and can deal with the practice schedule. if their is problem with costumes, the leader must also help arrange how to get theirs costumes for them. who, then, is responsible for the leaders time, money, costumes, if not themselves?

as a leader, one is expected to prepare all needed material for practice. music? laptop? space? yes, no one says this is the leader's responsibility, but is it anybody else's? and who do u look for, when things are needed? yes, the leader must be responsible to make sure all things needed is present too. when the leader tells other members to remember to bring things, if they still forget it, learn to cut them some slack. but remember also, for every event, every practice, if anything is missing, it is the leader's fault for not preparing, it is the leader's fault for not reminding others.

as a leader, one is expected to make sure the group works well together. members have to be friendly, they must build rapport. the group will never work if there are petty fights and disagreements all the time. and when a member leaves, it is the leaders responsibility to find a new member, and make sure they get along fine and can work well together. if the group crumbles due to poor communication, it will be the leader's responsibility to fix it.

as a leader, one is expected to do anything and everything for the group's image. the leader must promote the group even if it is embarrassing. the leader must be aware of all contests and events and prepare the group for it. any problems or things that need to be settled, must be done by the leader to make sure they get to enter the event, prepared for the event, go to the event on the day, prepare props needed for the event,etc. others may help in this process, but otherwise leaders must be on top of all that is going on at all times, and make sure all the other members are up to date too.

this is not always the scenario. in some cases, there may be other members who can take over some of the responsibilities according to their capabilities. but like i said, if there is no one else to do it, the leader must assume its their own responsibility.

it may seem like alot to swallow. many leaders have faltered under the weight of this pressure, and i wont lie, i did before too. the truth is, there is only one very simple easy answer to all these troubles. for a cover dance group to succeed, the leader must JUST DO IT. no, there is no one going to pay u for ur troubles. no, there is no one going to help and take over being the leader for you. YOU want your group to succeed, then swallow ur pride and ur anger and ur frustration, and JUST DO IT. over time, your members will eventually begin to see all the troubles you went through for them, and appreciate you for it. i have said this over and over again to every group leader that asked me for help on how to control their members. YOU CANT. they are willing to dance for you, so be grateful, because no matter how you complain, it will still be up to you to make ur group happen.

this is not to belittle other members. they make the effort to come to practice. they commit to the group. its their blood, sweat and tears out there too. they gave their time and their money to be there. and therefore they have every right to be a part of the group, and their existence is just as important as the leader. without members, there is no group. so leaders must learn to appreciate ur members, learn to cut them slack. they may not understand what u do for them, and its no one's fault, but yours. learn to communicate ur hardships to them, so they can accommodate more easily to ur demands. but the no.1 advice i can give, is just do it. this is what it takes to be called a leader. this is what it takes to make things happen. there is no one else to uphold that responsibility but you. u want this to happen, u make it happen. believe in the better beings inside each of ur members, believe they will come to respect u for ur efforts too.i hope someday it happens for all aspiring groups out there.



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