FEATURE: Student Dancers Keep The Balance

How student dancers manage their schedules between school, practice and competition.


Senior Gracia Greenhoot poses on stage as she preforms for the Lawrence Arts Center. Photo submitted by Gracia Greenhoot.

Maura Langland

Gracia Greenhoot 

Students after school activities can add stress to their academic and personal schedules. For senior Gracia Greenhoot, dance takes up the majority of her time. 

Greenhoot does ballet at the Lawrence Arts Center where she competes and performs. Her dance schedule takes up most of her time outside of school, keeping her from school events. 

“I don’t have time to do any other sports for fun a lot of the time,” Greenhoot said. “I’’d have to miss school spirit activities just because I have rehearsals.”

These types of restrictions are true for a lot of student athletes, keeping them from enjoying their free time. Dance separates itself from other sports by being not just athletic but also artistic. 

“It’s really based on how you look and the whole thing is watching how you’re [dancing] so it’s definitely a perfectionist sport, “ Greenhoot said. 

Jacie Butler 

Freshman Jacie Butler competes at Lawrence Dance Gallery as well as being on the dance team. This is her first year being a part of the dance team as well as competing, creating a busy schedule. 

“There wasn’t a dance team in middle school so I only focused my time on competition dance,” Butler said. “I feel there’s more responsibility with high school dance.”

In Lawrence middle schools only cheer is offered so high school is the first opportunity for dancers to join a school dance team. For Butler, being on the dance team has opened the opportunity to seek out college dance teams. 

“I hope to dance on a college dance team to combine my competition and dance team experiences, ” Butler said. 

College dance teams are one of the few ways that teenage dancers can continue dancing after they graduate high school. However first they have to make it through four years of balancing their schedules first. 

“Keeping my social life and school life balanced will probably be the hardest part,” Butler said. 

Madi Brosa 

Junior Madi Brosa dances competitively at Lawrence Dance Gallery as well as being involved in debate and choir. All these activities leave her with a full schedule and not much time for herself, they also overlap causing her to miss out on some experiences. 

“I have to sacrifice other activities like debate in order to be more involved in dance,” Brosa said. “I also have to sacrifice some of my involvement in choir and other hobbies of mine.” 

Dance can put restrictions on students’ time to participate in other school activities or just taking away time to do homework. 

“It’s difficult to balance dance and academics, but I manage by getting ahead on homework if I know I have dance the next day, “ Brosa said.

However, for Brosa balancing the stress of academics and dance is worth it for the experiences that dance gives her. 

“I love dancing It’s an outlet for me and I love going to competitions and seeing all my hard work pay off,” Brosa said.