What is Talent? Do I have it? How do I get it? This is an often asked question. My son attends the Boston Ballet School. His teacher, a well loved and well known teacher, Luciano, recently explained his thought on talent. My students parents often ask me, "Does my little Holly have talent in Ballet?" he said. His answer is right on:
Talent is a Gift
Some say talent is a gift. There is some truth to that. Having the right body type, or the right physical ability, helps. Especially with something like Ballet. However having the gift sometimes make the student works less hard. Pay less attention. Things come too easily. In the long term, having the gift along is not going to translate to success. In fact, if managed wrong, it could hurt.
Talent from Practice
Practice makes perfect. The Russian ballet schools sometimes share this philosophy. Talent from repetition. Again, there are some truth to this view. But repetition alone is not going to make your great.
Talent from Understanding
70% of talent is going to come from understanding. It is coming from your head. You need to understand why something is done, understand how your body works, understand the ecosystem of your particular field. With understanding, you will know how to leverage your gift. With understanding you will know what to monitor during practice. What do you need to improve.
I totally agree with this view. It goes far beyond ballet, or music, or tai chi. Try it yourself.