Being a dancer in high school is not as simple as it seems to be. Junior Hannah Nowe has been dancing for 14 years, and is now a competitive dancer for a local team. Between time management and finding time for a social life, Nowe occasionally struggles to balance her dance life with her needs.
Every week, multiple hours of Nowe’s time is spend in a dance room, learning routine after routine until it has been memorized and ready for performance. The struggles go on as it is difficult to complete schoolwork, or spend time with friends.
“I probably dance 15-20 hours dancing a week,” Nowe said. “It’s extremely hard to balance school and dance, there have been times I’ve had to miss school for dance practice.”
Keeping up with assignments as a high school student can already be overwhelming, but adding a high intensity sport to the mix only makes it more difficult. Dancing requires several hours of commitment a week, and school is often not put first.
“Dance affects my grades pretty often, its hard to keep up and reserve time for homework,” Nowe said. “I am almost always falling behind in school work because I am never home and don’t have much study time.”
Though dance majorly impacts a student’s school life, it also takes a toll on their social lives. Many students who dance only have a few friends and many tend to be within their dance classes. It is also difficult to be involved in clubs or sports inside of school due to the fact that so much time is required in the dance room. Keeping friends can be a challenge for student dancers across the board.
“Dance affects my social life because I am always there after school and I miss several social events,” Nowe said. “But also, my closest friends are on my team and on my schedule I find myself hanging out with them during most of my free time. I am not really part of any club or sport because dance takes up literally all of my free time.”
Most student athletes have days off in between their sport schedules, but for dancers there are very few breaks during the week. Only two days during the weekend is for free time, which is sometimes even filled with dance competitions.
“I dance ever single Saturday from nine until three-thirty,” Nowe said. “And Fridays and Sundays are my only days off during the entire week, which I love because I still get to enjoy most of my weekends.”
Though this sport is very time consuming, the outcome is well worth it. From gaining friends and family, to finding a new passion and being able to express emotions through this form of art, in the end the commitment is worth the effort.
“My favorite part about being a dancer is being able to express myself and there is no greater feeling than being on stage and the adrenaline rush I get with the people I love the most,” Nowe said. “ I see myself dancing in the future and my dream is to go on tour as a backup dancer one day.”