DY: In Just a Few Words (#86)
Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks...
Has your best friend, significant other, a higher ranking official, parent, boss or someone who just “knows what’s best for you” ever suggested you go to an event you would normally never agree to attend?
That’s what happened to me recently when my dearly beloved suggested we go to a late afternoon event to which we had been invited by a high school classmate. It was sometime in the near future. It would be fun! Then she broke the real news. It’s a party for the Cleveland Ballet.
Gee, I’d love to but, unfortunately, I'm busy that afternoon, I responded. So, I guess we can’t go.
What do you mean you’re busy that afternoon? I haven’t even told you the date yet.
I added, Well, I just know I’m busy with a commitment on that day, whatever day that might be.
OK, I’ll go without you then. But, I’m going. The dancers are going to put on a performance and I want to see it.
OK, I'll go. We're a team. But, you owe me big.
Wow, was I ever surprised! Beautiful afternoon and lovely backyard setting complete with a stage for performances. Something on the order of 20-plus dancers were there, with at least half from a variety of different countries. Instead of being a Sunday afternoon couch potato tuned into PGA golf or some CNN experts rehashing political rumors, there I was mesmerized by ballet dancers. Let me tell you something. These dancers are world-class athletes. And, they're a whole lot more interesting than your average politician.
So, that was the first surprise. Next was how the dancers mixed it up with the guests. They were totally open to talking with all the guests, even me. The dancers had even made a ton of good food reflecting their nationalities. And, one of them, a dancer from Brazil, made the greatest beach drink concoction I have ever had. All of them were interesting, conversant and totally friendly. No exceptions. Any organization would be proud to have a group like that mix it up with their guests. Yes, arts organizations are always in a fundraising mode, but before you raise funds you have to form relationships. So, chalk this one up as an exceptionally effective friendraiser.
One of the guests was a terrific guy who had spent 21 years as a member of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Even I know that the Bolshoi is the best-known ballet company in the world. Great to chat with on several different topics. Half Russian, half Ukrainian - now living with his wife and children in the Czech Republic. I never would have met him watching CNN...
I’m not quite into season tickets yet, but - to her everlasting credit - my superior officer pushed me into something I really enjoyed. It’s not the first time. And, I’m sure it won't be the last. I’m really glad I came to my senses and went. It was informative. It was fun. Most of all, it was eye-opening. I will go back to a ballet performance.
If your superior officer suggests you go to the ballet, remember this advice from your favorite blogger. Go. It will open your eyes. I know it opened mine.
Real men go to the ballet.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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