In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?

Megan


Dear Megan,

Having interests beyond ballet is crucial to maintaining a healthy, happy mindset. It's the dancers who only do ballet who end up burning out. And physically speaking, I think karate is probably helping your dancing. It takes a lot of muscle strength, power, and control to do martial arts properly.

Start thinking about karate as a benefit, rather than feeling like you're "cheating" on ballet. Yes, you'll have to devote more time to ballet as your training intensifies, making time management a little trickier, but being a dedicated pre-professional dancer doesn't mean you have to give up the rest of your life. And if you end up joining a company, maybe karate will be your way to stay in shape during the off season. It's worth sticking to if you love it.

For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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