Hey there, everyone and welcome back to From The Top! It’s officially the month of August which means not only is it time to head back to school, but it’s time to head back to dance and From The Top is back with our annual “Back 2 Dance” blog series! In our first installment in this year’s series, we will be talking about how to balance your time between dance and school. No matter if your in high school or college, a full time student or a part time student, managing your academic studies while continuing on the journey of pursuing your career can be a little tricky sometimes. While dancing is a career choice and undoubtedly a passion for so many of us, education is also a key element in life. However, both are very busy endeavors to pursue and the question that comes to many of us is, “How on earth do I tend to one, without dropping the ball on the other?” Like so many other dancers, this is something that I have definitely been through at a point in my life not so long ago. What I have discovered is, though it is a situation that can be quite stressful at times, it is a situation that can be conquered with strategy and determination. So, if you’re looking to find that perfect balance of managing your life as a student and your life as a dancer, just keep on reading!
Organization Is Always Key
One of the biggest steps in the right direction to finding your rhythm with managing school and dance is staying organized. If you’ve been rolling with FTT for a while now, then you know that I am such a huge advocate for organization. By investing in key organization tools such as a datebook or notebook, you can take your schedule off of your brain and on to paper. Pen in all of your dance class days and times, as well as your school days and times, homework assignments, school project deadlines, etc,. This really helps you get an idea of how hectic or easy your day/week will be. When you know what you’re facing, you can get your mind prepared for whatever comes your way and come up with a strategy/game plan of how to go about handling everything. There is, however, a huge difference between being organized and being calculated. Organization is a major key but calculation is a headache. While it helps to keep a written schedule and have a game plan, also keep in mind that sometimes life happens and we can experience some forks in the work concerning said plan. If something comes up to where your schedule doesn’t go quite as planned, by all means, do not panic. Simply take a deep breath and ease your mind. There is always, always, always a plan b. Everything will work out just fine, it always does and it always will.
Be Realistic With Your Time
This is a perfect segway from our first tip. Although we may now have a schedule set in place and we can now see what we have planned for the day and/ or week ahead of us, it is still very important to be realistic with your time. While you’re making your schedule, I encourage you to never overload yourself by giving yourself the task of doing too many things in one day. There are only 24 hours given to us in each day and it’s very important to learn how to divide your time. For example, let’s say you have a school project due on the 25th of this month and the assignment was given to you on the 5th of the month. On the 5th of the month, the same day you were given the assignment in class, you also have 4 hours of dance classes that night, and 2 hours of dance classes the following day. Instead of trying to fit in starting your school project the same day it was assigned or even the day after, all while attending your 4 and 2 hour dance rehearsals, simply wait a couple of days before starting your project for school. The 5th is an entire 20 days away and fortunately you’re able to have a little wiggle room. This allows you to be able to get through your days of dance without having to multitask so much with your school project. By being realistic with your time, being realistic with what you can handle and what is too much, you’ll be able to cut down your stress level by a landslide, which in return makes finding the balance of school and dance so much easier.
Sleep Is Always Needed
As I’m sure you all know, sleep is absolutely key to getting through any day or week. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning or “pulling an all nighter” as they say, is often romanticized in the sense that it is something that people suggest in order to get things done. And while pulling an all nighter or two is likely inevitable at some point in life, it isn’t necessarily the wisest thing to do. So, no matter how busy your day may have been or how busy it may be tomorrow, always make sure you get a good amount of sleep because if you don’t, you’ll spend the majority of your day not being able to focus on anything outside of how tired you feel, which will ultimately keep you from achieving anything throughout the day. The biggest way to find a good rhythm with dance and school is to work with yourself, not against yourself.
“Maintain A Strong Sense Of Responsibility”
Lastly, one of the core ways to find the perfect balance in school and dance is by having a strong sense of responsibility. Both your education and your career are extremely important since ultimately you will need one in order to benefit the other. So, as you’re going through this time and period in your life, always take the initiative to not take yourself too seriously but to hold yourself responsible for handling your endeavors. Let’s go back to the example used in tip #2. Your school assignment was given to you on the 5th and it isn’t due until the 25th. You have now decided to hold off on starting it for a couple of days to get through a few busy dance days. Even though you have decided on waiting a couple of days to get started on the assignment in order to suit your dance schedule, by all means, do not wait too late to begin the assignment all together. This is where personal responsibility comes into play. By waiting until the last minute to begin your assignment, you then cause yourself to have to catch up, which in return will give you unnecessary stress. The main goal in finding the balance is to make things as easy on yourself as you possibly can. So, always take the necessary measures to be your own best friend and not your own worst enemy.
I wish you all the best of luck as you continue to pursue both your education and career! I also hope you enjoyed this first installment in this year’s “Back 2 Dance” series! Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you right back here next week as we continue to prepare for a brand new dance season together! Stick around, we have some great surprises in store!