A Week in the Life of a Pro Dancer
People ask me sometimes whether I am too busy with school and dancing. Life as a Pro dancer in Level 1 at The Landing, I dance 3 times a week after school for 3 -4 hours and usually have at least one private lesson on the weekends. Committed dancers are busy, there is no doubt, but what might be surprising is that my dance time is the best down time. It is while I dance that I am able to let the day go and focus on something that I love and put my mind at ease. Dancing is how I relax.
On Mondays, my mom picks me up and drives me and my friend to the Landing. It’s always nice to see Bonnie our Studio Manager when we come in – she is our Dance Grandma. Mondays are our long days with Jazz, Ballet and Contemporary. We combine technique and choreography and usually break into a good sweat. Dance always makes me aware of my breath and my body, which is a great way to feel in the moment. It’s hard not to bring the day into the studio and into those moments. Sometimes I notice that my movements are more relaxed and reflective and sometimes they are frustrated and heavy.
Wednesdays we have Ballet, Lyrical and Jazz. We have two separate Ballet teachers, which is great. We learn different things from each teacher and somehow that works together really well. There is really something to be said for every style. They are all so different and that’s what makes it interesting. On different days, I crave different dances and overall, the variety is what makes my dance week complete. Every day at the studio I learn something new, and sometimes I don’t even realize it; sometimes it has nothing to do with dance! I learn how to work hard and be committed, how to express my feelings, be respectful and be a good friend.
My friends at dance are like my family. We share the best moments and some really tough moments. The older dancers are always there to help and it’s great to see the younger ones follow in our journey. My little sister dances at The Landing too and I am so happy to be able to teach her everything I know.
Thursday is Modern, Ballet and Tap. The interesting thing about Tap is that I didn’t want to take it when I first came to the Landing but Brenna, The Landing’s Director told me that the more styles you dance, the better a dancer you will be. The best part is that now I love Tap and am so happy that I continued with it. It’s powerful and exciting. You can stomp a bad mood or express a fun thought by using different rhythms and tones. It’s like another language that we exchange when we tap together.
On the weekends it’s Solo and Duo time. A one on one hour is hard work but you get to work on something personal that you are very passionate about. There is something magical about translating your teacher’s vision with your body. The process is tough and you learn about muscles and body parts you didn’t even know existed and you have to learn to pronounce some very confusing words, like ‘abdominals’, but there is no better feeling than the nervous butterflies you get before a show. Every week at the Landing I grow up a little more, as a dancer and as a person and at the end of every week I look forward to hitting the dance floor again.
– Maya McNamara (Age 10), Fourth-year student at The Landing Dance Centre