Dancers in the community come from different backgrounds. Some of us are 1000% pursuing dance, some of us are still students trying to balance school and dance. Both are hard, but the latter requires for you constantly evaluate your priorities and use your time wisely. If you haven’t mastered it by now, here are a few ways to help you balance school and dance.
Let’s face it; college screwed up your sleep schedule once you found out what ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ were… followed by 8am lectures on Fridays. The idea of a good night's rest each night is like Gretchen trying to make ‘fetch’ happen. It’s not going to happen.
Instead, try to work with what you can.When you’re super tired after that 3 am practice, try your best to gauge whether or not you really need to go to class the next day. Just because it is podcasted DOES NOT mean you should automatically skip it. If you don’t have time to sleep, then will you have time to catch up on that podcast? Think about it. Also, I suggest you understand and fully grasp the concept of the zen traditional art form of napping. Don’t forget that Redbulls, shots of espresso, and concealer can be your best friends; there’s no shame in having bags under those eyes... as long as they are designer, haay.
You get a syllabus on the first day of class, so I suggest you syllabust it out and write down all of the important dates of homework assignments, quizzes, and tests. When you see these dates in your planner, you’ll have an idea of how much work you have before it is due, and there will be no excuse as to why you didn’t have enough time to finish studying or turn in that homework assignment.Make time to study early, and study with your teammates!
Chances are, they’re the only people who are awake to study at odd hours that you are.And ask your directors/leadership for a calendar of events throughout the year, from tentative competitions to DEFINITE performances. This way, you’ll know if you have any conflicts from the get-go, and there won’t be any surprises when you know that finals week and The Bridge SoCal are on the same weekend. Make sure to leave room for inevitable HELL(a fun) WEEKS as well!
If you have a midterm the day after a huge competition, then start studying for it weeks in advance (you’d know because you wrote it down in your planner, haaay). If it’s really really hard and you’ve just been procrastinating, figure out if it would be best to opt out of the competition. Though competitions are fun and may feel ‘onCe iN A LyFetYme’ -esque, if this midterm is going to signify you failing and then dropping the class and crying for days and days because you feel incompetent… I suggest you skip the competition.
If you do feel confident enough, then bring a few study materials to the competition and review during down time. And I better NOT see you at the after party. Parties are fun… until you fail your midterm, drop out of school, get kicked off the team, lose all motivation to audition for any other team, and then find yourself only dancing on Thursday nights on the street corners of Frat Row.
Yeah, life just got real. Make good decisions. And whatever you do, do not succumb to the #FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out is dangerous.
I know, I know. You just did awfully on a quiz, and you just realized that you might not have the GPA to get into that business program, you didn’t get that internship, you haven’t slept in months...It's inevitable that you’ll feel some resentment towards your team from time to time. However, no matter how stressed you are about that midterm or how unprepared you are for that presentation the next morning, just remember that you are here, in the present.
You are in that parking lot/studio, and you made a commitment. There will be no point in brooding for the next few hours that you’re there, and you can’t really do anything about it, so why not have a good time and alleviate some of that stress by dancing and having fun with people you love doing something you love? Trust me, practice is no place for attitude, so leave your stress and worries at home!
It's okay to slip up once in a while, even though we just gave you great tips on not slipping up… ever. No one's perfect, and we are attending school to learn and grow, not to prove to ourselves that we never make mistakes. So you had a bad day and bombed a quiz, so you forgot to do the reading for class and made a fool out of yourself in a discussion, so you fell asleep in class and the professor had to wake you up... twice.
In 20 years, you most likely will not remember that one failed quiz in that one upper division class, but you’ll probably remember that really awesome and inspiring 5 am practice you had before Fusion, that practice where you realized that you and your team were truly a family. This isn't a scapegoat or an excuse for you to fail, but merely a reminder to just look at the bigger picture when you're feeling like you're just an incompetent failure. Trust us, you're fine.
Here are a few more tips Clay and Jessie have on how to balance school and dance!
It can be tricky to balance school and dance, but it's not impossible!These struggles are prepping you for the future when you're working at an incredibly demanding work place and making 6 figures weekly. Maybe.What are YOUR tips and tricks to balance school and dance? Leave a comment below!Busy with school but want to train? STEEZY Studio lets you take class anywhere, anytime! After all, you deserve a study break.This post was originally published on May 12, 2014.