When Dance Is Your Work & Your Life, How Do You Maintain a Healthy Balance of Both?
As the saying goes, “it’s never work when you love what you do.” However, when dance is your life’s passion and your job, separating the two can get complicated! Dance is one of those jobs that you can’t help but take your work home with you. Not having proper dance/life balance can cause exhaustion, frustration, and even a lack of motivation which can lead you to have a bad taste. This is what people in all industries call “work burnout.”
At Millennium Dance Complex, we take dance seriously, but we also want our dancers to know that we care about them and their well-being. Part of our mission is to help people find a healthy balance between work and life without losing their passion and drive for dance. After all, a strong dance/life balance makes performing much more fulfilling. The following are steps you can take whenever you feel a burnout coming on.
5 Ways to Maintain A Healthy Dance/Life Balance
Carve out time to relax
Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, taking a bath, or going to a yoga class, designate time for yourself to relax. Giving up some of your time to focus on you can be difficult, but once you take relaxation and “me time” seriously, you’ll start to feel less stress.
Talk to an outside perspective
We’re not kidding. Getting out there and spending time with someone not in the industry is a great way to get your mind off of work. Often times, when dancers are together we tend to “talk shop,” and if you’re feeling burnt out, that’s one of the last things you want to do. Nothing beats the blues like catching up with a friend that loves and supports you for you.
We live in the age of social media. Everything we’re exposed to in this world is right at our fingertips. Sometimes we see other people living what we think are fulfilling lives on social media, and when we’re burnt out, this can really put a damper on how we view our own lives. Pick a day to completely unplug (SCREENS OFF!) and be present in your meditation or in the company of others.
Have another creative outlet
We’re creatives – art is what we do. This is why it is so necessary to have an outlet we can use to pour ourselves into when we’re feeling overworked or anxious with dance. Write, paint, go to a pottery class – engaging in different life experiences is stimulating and can only enhance your performances on stage.
We feel like we shouldn’t have to say it, but get some sleep! Seriously! Sometimes dancers will stay up all night to perfect a routine, but poor sleep decreases productivity and performance, and causes sensitivity in stressful events, impairs your mental function, leaves you more susceptible to errors and makes it harder to juggle competing demands. Did you also know that more sleep enhances memory? Give yourself 6 hours a night to get some well-deserved, much-needed shut eye.
How do you find the balance in performing for work and releasing your passion? In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be talking to some of our instructors about how they manage their own dance/life balance – be sure to follow along!