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