These are word that I had slipped out of my mouth at every age when I referred to my studio(s) and I have heard it from several of my Students too. Ever since I fell in love with dance and theater there wasn't a place that I felt more at home then at the Studio or on Stage!
But to quote one of my favorite movies "Wùjíbìfǎn" ~ "To Much of Good Stuff is Bad Stuff!" (Karake Kid 2010) The actual translation, thanks Trey, of the Chinese Idiom is "when things reach an extreme, they can only move in the opposite direction." I think we forget too often that too much, even of good stuff, is bad for us!
Think about a really good food for you, like Watermelon, great for you and healthy but if all you ate was watermelon and/or you ate massive amount of watermelon you would indeed get sick. Every other part of our lives isn't different we just choose to look at it differently so we don't have to use self-control.
Trust me balance isn't easy- on the dance floor or in life! It isn't easy to balance school work, jobs, homework, families, chores, dancing, theater, practice, our other hobbies (if we do indeed have those) and the unending list of things that we have to accomplish in a single day! But it is so important not only for the people around us but for our well being and the well being of our activities! So, how do we do that? Well, like I said, balance isn't easy- but here are a few tips to help you with your studio life and your life outside of the studio. (I know what life- but seriously there should be one!)
Decide what is important to do that day- if you have to break in a new pair of dance shoes for class that evening, it is probably a good idea to get that done over printing out your headshot for your audition that is next week. Now don't get me wrong - I am not telling you to procrastinate! But I am telling you to be smart set aside 20 minutes of your day to get stuff done on your to-do list. If you spend 20 minutes every day, as a general rule, this should keep you on top of your day to day needs.
#2. Plan Ahead
Make a game plan for tomorrow and the next two days before you go to bed! If you want to take two yoga classes between Thursday and Saturday, see if it is even feasible with your other commitments and then see which days have enough free time.
#3. Pencil it In
Figure out if you prefer a paper calendar or a smart device calendar... but it is never too early to start keeping track of your own calendar! Trust me, you will thank me later when you get to college and calendar keeping is one less thing you have to learn! If you organize your stuff in one place it will be less likely to overbook yourself!
#4. Use a Timer
This is one of my favorites! This helps you to do the things you don't want to do and also helps you keep track of time doing the things you love to do! If you want/need to spend an hour updating your Performance Resume, Bio, and Headshot- hold it to yourself with a timer. Don't abandon it at 30 minutes just because Netflix is calling your name!
#5. Say, "No"
This is something that our world has taught us that it is not okay to say, and honestly I feel like it has really done itself an inservice. It is okay to say, "no" to things you don't have any interest or time to do. It doesn't mean your are mean or selfish which is what the world will try to tell you but rather it gives you the opportunity to focus on what you love to do and gives you the time to do it right. (My rules are not always the best for everyone - but I follow the rule of 2. I get to 2 things outside of "school"! It is a nice balance of being committed and fully embracing the opportunity of the activity!)
I hope these tips helped you find some balance. But remember there is nothing like knowing your own body and mind and finding things that work well for you. Just because my limit is 2 doesn't mean that yours isn't more or less. Find your own balance and self-control and embrace your Wùjíbìfǎn!