For most dancers, especially as they get into high school, managing time for school, dance and a social life can become a battle. Whether a dancer, parent or teacher, it is valuable to develop tricks for time management to make sure you/your dancer is getting the most out of each activity. To help out, we have found some helpful tips to find the perfect balance! Keep reading to find out more.
- Sleep!: For more than just physical health, sleep is also crucial to ensure you are mentally ready for every day and what’s in it. It is completely normal to be tempted to watch one more episode, read one more chapter or send one more message to your friends late at night, but the next day when you can’t remember the choreography you were just taught or focus on what the teacher is saying in maths class, you’ll find yourself having to do a lot more catching up later on.
- Study early and study often: This is an obvious one but knowing your assessment schedule ahead of time allows you to manage your time effectively and avoid studying the night before an exam in between dance classes. A good tip I’ve learnt as a student is the Pomodoro or reward method in which you study in 30 minute increments (work for 25, reward yourself for 5). The reward can be something as simple as watching a video, having a snack or checking social media. This is especially effective with dancers or athletes who are used to working to achieve a goal. It is also important as a student to make the most of the time you are given to work on assessment. When deadlines are approaching, most teachers designate class time to study, so use it while your teacher is there and you have nothing else on.
- Know your FULL dance schedule: When you are figuring out your timetable for the semester, take in to account things like how long it will take to get home, eating dinner, cooling down and relaxing rather than just the class time itself. For example, if your dance class is 5:00PM – 8:00PM, it is unlikely you will be able to start studying at 8:30PM. Give yourself, your body and your mind time to rest in between and account for that when managing your time and schedule.
- Give school attention: Whether you want a career as a dancer or not, working hard at school is important for more than just good grades. Participating in co-curricular activities, leadership programs and other school events are important for developing life skills and friendships, as well as a perspective on life outside the studio.
- Remember the importance of friendship: No matter how busy your schedule is, having a social life is vital for good mental health and happiness. Of course for most dancers your best friends are at the studio, but having good relationships with your school and other friends is always beneficial. It’s also important you find time to be with your friends out of the classroom; dance and school. Go out for dinner, head to the shops or even go for a walk. Just having time to relax and enjoy your friends company is so important for your friendship and your own life.
- Enjoy each element as an individual and unique experience: A lot of people will suggest bringing your school work to class and competition to work on in between but this may not be what’s best for everyone. Not only will focusing completely on one thing at a time give you better results, but it is an important skill for life to know when to prioritise. Both your school years and dance years are some of the best memories you’ll ever have and it will be special to look back at them as two unique experiences.
There is no easy way to manage maintaining good grades, working hard in dance class, developing great friendships and finding time for yourself to relax and wind-down, but it is incredibly rewarding. Take the time at the start of each term to sit down as parent and dancer and discuss your schedules, your goals and make sure you are on the right path for happy and healthy year ahead.