Being a high school student and a dancer can be both difficult and stressful. Handing in all 8 school assessments at once, keeping your grades up, remembering all the choreography for the end of year concert, and maintaining friendships are only a few things that create stress during the teen years. Even though you may think your stresses seem insignificant, in the moment it was an important part of our growth in our teen years. Here are a few of my important tips I wish I knew before I started high school as an aspiring professional dancer. Of course, I am constantly working on these myself.
Before you care or love anyone else, the most important person to care and love for is YOU. It may seem selfish, but it’s a sign of strength and maturity. Because dancing is something that you truly love, don’t be scared to show people the commitment and passion you have for it. It is what helps define us.
Focusing on negative people that make you feel guilty for missing out on a sleepover, or a movie, can make it hard to focus in rehearsals and performances. Focusing on what you love is a lot more beneficial. Knowing exactly why you love to dance, and what styles you enjoy the most is very important in becoming a successful dancer.
During high school you will meet many different people with colourful personalities. Making friends with people who aren’t dancers can be difficult because they might not understand the commitment you’ve made to dancing. Something like missing a dance rehearsal is a big NO NO! If you ever feel like your friends aren’t supporting you, communicate this with them - communication is key! If they still can’t understand, then it is okay to keep healthy boundaries from them. Friendships shouldn’t ever drain you, they should empower and support you.
If you ever feel stressed or worried, never bottle it up. Talk to a teacher or a mentor! Finding someone who understands you, and that you can tell anything to, is as essential tool for surviving high school as a dancer. I go to my PDHPE teacher for advice at least once a week, and it’s honestly the best decision I have ever made. Being able to tell someone everything that is on my mind, and leaving with a smile is such a relieving feeling. Even if what you’re stressing over seems small; if it’s preventing you on focusing on school, dance, or yourself, ask a trusted adult for advice! Always remember seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness!
Being a dancer and a high school student at the same time can be challenging, but you will gain a resilience that will strengthen your character. Remember to show the people that care for you, how much you appreciate them. And always believe in yourself.
Written by: Emilee Beecham
Edited by: Stephanie Cheah