In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet 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'm serious about dancing, but I'm also a good academic student. I'm 15 now, and it's getting really hard to balance my intensive dance training with honors classes and the homework that comes with them. I don't want to pick a path just yet—I'm not sure if I want to try to dance professionally, or if I want to go to college, or if I want to do both! Is there a way to balance everything without cutting way back on either dance or schoolwork?
First of all, I think it's wonderful that you're focused on academics. That dedication will pay off outside the studio, of course. But it'll also benefit you as a dancer by expanding your horizons, and teaching you different ways of thinking and problem-solving.
I can't tell you what to do, but I can help you look at this dilemma from different perspectives. First, the dance-focused point of view: You won't be able to dance at a high level forever, but you can always return to your academic studies, pursuing college once your performing career is over. (Or you can take college courses while dancing, which has become a common and accepted practice.) If you think you might want to dance professionally, now is the time to commit to it.
On the flip side: If you end up choosing a more academic path, that doesn't mean you have to eliminate dancing from your life! You could take classes on the side, or become an avid arts supporter. You could also enroll in a college ballet program, which is a good middle ground. There are spectacular programs out there that would allow you to continue dancing at a high level.
The takeaway here is that there's no "wrong" choice. Whatever route you choose, you'll be able to pursue it without regrets.
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