Since the age of two, I have been in love with all types of dance.

I spent the majority of my childhood at the dance studio and loved being involved with anything that had to do with performing. It was not until the age of twelve when I focused on ballet and my competitive training began.

Shannon Ballet

From then until eighteen, I trained year-round at my home studio and at summer training programs around the U.S.

At the age of seventeen, a summer training program inspired me to move away from Minnesota and train at a year-round pre-professional ballet program in Florida.  Accepting my position on this program forced me to forgo my senior year of high school, but enabled me to focus intensely on training and performing.


Dance exposed me to a variety of national and international experiences, which sparked my passion for learning about new cultures and living in different places. It eventually led me to the University of Utah where I studied Ballet and earned a second degree in Business Entrepreneurship.


“Dance exposed me to a variety of experiences, which sparked my passion for learning about new cultures and living in different places.”

I’m now pursuing my Masters in International Business at Hult in London. Reflecting on my experiences, ballet helped me grow in important ways that prepared me for the challenges and opportunities of my studies.

The most transferable lessons include dealing with rejection, garnering grit, and being confident.


Lesson one: Dealing with rejection

This was a major lesson that I had to learn at a young age. I was not accepted into every summer training program, school, or role that I auditioned for. Had I let rejection consume me at a young age my ballet training would have been short-lived.

I learned the power of harnessing rejection and understanding that it is not always personal. For my business studies, ballet has taught me that rejection is not something to fear.  (This is where a growth mindset comes in.)

Lesson two: Garnering grit

The importance of grit was another significant lesson ballet taught me. Dancing on your toes for six hours straight is exhausting, but it taught me to be okay with temporary discomfort.

It demonstrated the importance of pushing through difficult times and building endurance. Focusing on the work is well worth it in the end, and is far more satisfying than giving up.

At Hult, grit has enabled me to work through the long hours sometimes needed for success on different group assignments.

Lesson three: Confidence

Being confident is the third most significant lesson that ballet taught me. I had to learn at a young age that the most important person in the room to believe in me was ME.

In addition to having confidence in myself, I learned the importance of instilling confidence in other people. Collaborating, opening up to others, and following through on commitments were all important skills that are transferable to the workplace.

Whether it is moving to a new country, meeting new people, learning a new subject, or speaking in front of a class, being confident is one of the transferable skills that Hult has me practicing often.

“I had to learn that the most important person in the room to believe in me was ME.”

Overall, ballet prepared me for the challenges and opportunities of my studies at Hult. Although I am not performing anymore, Hult has given me the opportunity to practice these skills daily in order to be prepared for my future career.



Interested in learning more about the leadership skills you’ll practice and develop at Hult? Download a brochure.

Hult offers a range of highly skills-focused and employability-driven business school programs including a range of MBA options and a comprehensive one year Masters in International Business. To find out more, take a look at our blog Practice Makes Perfect: On Writing & Why Talent Is Not Required. Download a brochure or get in touch today to find out how Hult can help you to learn about the business world, the future, and yourself.