Fabiano ’97 Uses Dance to Inspire Workplace Success – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fabiano ’97 Uses Dance to Inspire Workplace Success

Sharna Fabiano ’97 combines her experience as a tango dancer and life coach to explore teamwork in the workplace in her new book, Lead & Follow: The Dance of Inspired Teamwork.

Tango dance and life coaching, two of the seemingly dissimilar passions of Sharna Fabiano ’97, coalesce in her new book, Lead & Follow: The Dance of Inspired Teamwork.

As a former tango dancer and instructor who now serves as a life coach, Fabiano uses the example of followership and leadership that exists within tango to advise readers on the importance of valuing both within the workplace. Lead & Follow translates from dance into the workplace by exploring what everyday followership looks like on the job and how can it lead to success.

“Shortly into life coaching, I realized that there was a lot of emphasis on leadership in the professional realm and that really no one was talking about followership,” Fabiano says. “As a dancer, this struck me as strange … In dance, you would never simply instruct one partner —you have to instruct both for the dance to be successful.”

Fabiano writes for an audience of workers in any industry, hoping they can find immediate, positive things to take away from her words. “There is power in followership,” she says. “I hope the strategies I introduce in Lead & Follow can give people a sense of that power and of the success that can result when it’s paired well with leadership.”

At HWS, Fabiano’s dual affinity for writing and dance was evident in her campus involvement. A member of the Koshare Dance Collective, she also worked on The Pulteney Street Survey and the student-run literary magazine Thel, was a student worker for the Office of Communications and a Writing Colleague. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in comparative literature.

Fabiano hopes that once the pandemic is over, Lead & Follow can be used as a support for in-person coaching sessions and workshops. “Simple lead and follow movement exercises are very energizing and they help people understand how they can be in dialogue with one another,” she says. “I would love to use these in team training settings.”

To learn more about Fabiano and her book, visit her website.