Finding a Balance


Hi, I'm Lily, and I dance at the Patterson School of Ballet. This past year, dance has become more challenging for me because I've decided to concentrate on ballet only instead of other forms of dance. When I tell people that, they don't really get it. This year I also started middle school, which has made life tougher; the tests are more difficult, the people are new and the expectations are different. My friends at school are usually7 thinking of their social life, when they can have a sleepover, and what after-school activities to do. But dancers don't think of those things. We're thinking of how we're going to study for a big test the next day, finish homework in time, when we can stretch before dance/after school, and, after dance class, fit in a rehearsal?

So, here's what a dancer's night is really like . . .

Stretching before class . . .

I'm a car rider after school, so I can get home as early as possible. I come home, get ready for dance and then leave my house at approximately 3:30. I leave for dance early so that I can stretch! While I'm stretching, I start my homwork or play/listen to music on my iPod. If you are late, you could maybe get into your frog and have someone sit on you, do splits, stretch feet, etc. Some of my friends say they stretch in the car on the way to dance.

Studying for a test the next day with dance/homework situations . . .

First there's homework, then there's a test, and then you have to write an essay! When can I do all that? I usually bring my homework to dance or try to finish it in my free time at school, but most of the time we don't get free time at school. I usually get home from dance at about 7:00. Most of the time I have an hour or two of studying after dinner. I'm pretty tired by then, but my grades are super important.

What people think about ballet . . .

A lot of people think that ballet is cute, girly, or easy. But we think of it as beautiful, hard/challenging, artistic, athletic, and graceful. I think of ballet as my life. It's not easy, but I don't want it to be. Ballet is not something you just get or give, you earn it and it's a gift.

"The body says what words cannot"

-Martha Graham

Lily is a 12 year old student

Patterson School of Ballet, Inc.

2415 W. 26 Street

Erie, PA 16506

(215) 806-1229

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