“How do you find time for dance?” is a question I am often asked. With family, kids and work commitments, I’ve had to find some creative ways to fit dance into my schedule. Here are a few things that have worked for me over the years – hopefully you find a few of these helpful for you too!
1. Learn while the kids learn
During my boys swimming lessons, I would take a yoga mat for some poolside stretches. Or I’d find a quiet corner to go over my Bharatanatyam steps. People eventually got used to the ‘crazy yoga mum’ at the pool. If dancing in odd places is not your style, then try hiring a space. While my kids were having art lessons, I hired the hall next door so that I could practise in private. Better yet, you might find adult dance classes that you can attend whilst your kids are occupied!
2. Routine, routine, routine
For the past 8 years, Wednesday evenings have been my night for dance. My husband knows that rain, hail or shine, he has to be back from work so that I can leave the kids and go to class. If necessary we hire a babysitter so that I don’t miss training. Having this routine means that we are prepared well in advance and gives me no excuse for backing out.
3. Private lessons
Consider private dance lessons where the teacher can come to you. When my boys were still babies and my evenings far more restricted, I arranged for weekly Kathak dance lessons at my house. I split this expense by learning with a friend, which made it more cost effective.
4. One-off dance workshops
If your work-life schedule is unpredictable then structured weekly lessons may not be realistic. There are lots of one-off workshops around town which cater for beginners or advanced dancers (Laneway Learning centre is one of my favourites).
5. No, it’s not too late!
My biggest hurdle wasn’t actually the time factor, but rather a long-held belief that I’d left it too late to learn dance (like most people I suspect). I never had lessons as a child and in my 20’s I thought that it was too late – until I finally started Bharatanatyam at the age of 32. Dance brought me joy in the most unexpected ways and opened new doors (and a new career!). Once I started I couldn’t stop, and funnily enough, the ‘problem’ of finding time just sorted itself out…
24 April 2019