Dance Teaches A Lot Of Life Lessons

Dance Teaches A Lot Of Life Lessons

What I learned from being in dance for so long
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Dance. Some of us do it for fun at parties while others compete in competitions every weekend and take 20 hours of classes a week. For a while, I was part of the second group and while it sounds grueling and exhausting it was a lot of fun. You meet a lot of people who go through the same trials and tribulations you go through and you learn a lot about yourself.

I started dance when I was about 4 years old and started competing when I was 12 or 13. The transition from performance dance to competition dance is one I will not forget. I took at least two classes that were just for conditioning and technique and every class after that was an opportunity to learn something new as well as learn choreography or run dances. It taught me a lot changes and how while both performance dance and competition dance have some of the same elements, one is more fast-paced. A lot of things in life are very similar but different in their pace, structure, or time commitment.

Being a part of a competition team also taught me a lot about group work and friends. When you are part of a large group of people, you can't expect everyone to get along all of the time. The funny thing about the dynamic of a dance team though is that it doesn't just depend on the dancers getting along but the parents as well. Parents can be super competitive when it comes to their child and that creates problems like unnecessary bickering and pettiness. When you are part of a team though, you learn what trust is all about. You know that the people lifting you will not drop you because they have done this with you a million times before. Working in groups and making connections with people is an essential part of life and being on a dance team helps nurture this.

Dance also teaches discipline and time management. There were plenty of weeks where I was up late doing homework because I didn't plan accordingly. Going back and forth between dance classes and school and home was not fun and it made for some interesting homework answers. If you don't know how to make yourself sit down and do something or plan ahead then you will definitely fall behind. Even now, I keep a detailed planner of everything I need to do in order to stay on track and I know if I'm going to be distracted I leave my dorm room and study in the library or another academic building. Dance taught me to keep a schedule and prioritize what needed to be done.

While I stopped dance my junior year of high school to focus on school and getting into college, I am thankful for the experiences and people I encountered. It taught me a lot about friendships, time commitments, and time management, as well as teamwork and being a part of something bigger than myself. Dance is one of the reasons I am the way I am today and I am grateful it was an integral part of my life for so long.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley Duke

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7 Things You Do If You’re One Of Those 'I Always Order Chicken Tenders' People

It's hard to love food but also hate it at the same time.

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Growing up, my mom would usually have to cook me a separate dinner from my siblings. Why? Because I was ridiculously picky and wouldn't eat the same foods as everyone else. Trust me, it gets old. It's not my fault certain things just taste gross, you learn to live with it.

1. You eat something you hate just to see if you still hate it

I'll take a bite of a burger every once in a while just to reaffirm that it still tastes like dirt. I just have to know. Don't even get me started on vegetables.

2. When trying to explain what you actually like to eat, people give you major side eye

Don't ask me about my eating habits unless you want to get into a long, confusing conversation.

3. Eating at someone else’s house when you were younger was a pain

You hate to tell their parents just how much you hate the food that they gave you. So, you sucked it up and ate it anyway only to come home and whine to your parents.

4. There’s one thing on any menu you always fall back on...even if it’s on the kids menu

Pizza, maybe. Chicken tenders, always.

5. Trying a new food is a very proud moment

It's like, wow! Look at me being all adventurous.

6. When you realize you actually like some new food, that’s an even more amazing moment

Crazy times. This rarely happens.

7. Sometimes it’s the texture, sometimes it’s the flavor, all the time it’s left on your plate

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10 Tips On How Not To Waste Your Time When You're Traveling

Sporadic trips are great, but maybe plan a little on the train ride in.

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For New Years, I took a trip to Boston. It wasn't sporadic— my boyfriend and I booked a room at Boston's Verb hotel, situated across from Fenway Park, about a month in advance. However, we didn't look at how we were going to get to Boston until the day before we left, or what we were going to do until the day we got there. If we had sat down and cracked open our laptops for 45 minutes while we watched American Horror Story reruns on Netflix, we wouldn't have spent so much on transportation and walking around in freezing rain looking for something to do. However, while we were content not going out and getting "drunklestiltskin" levels of drunk, it might have been better if we outlined what we were going to do on New Years Day and how we were going to get there.

We ended up spending about $10 to us the T, which isn't bad, but we spent $30 on parking and $45 on Uber rides, which wasn't bad until our last driver took the long way. If we had researched the area a little better, we might have been able to find things to do in the area we were staying, or map out a route to take using public transportation.

1. Book your hotel in the area you want to visit

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By doing this, you'll save on transportation costs because you'll either be within walking distance, or public transportation will have stops close to the places you want to visit. You also will be less likely to get stranded in an area you're unfamiliar with.

2. Get an idea ahead of time the things you want to do, and map out how you'll get there

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This helps you create a budget for transportation so that you don't think you're stranded in an area that doesn't have public transportation. Ubers can be expensive, especially if the driver takes the wrong turn, or wants to learn your life story.

3. Budget so you don't overspend

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Plan out how much you want to spend on transportation, how much you want to spend on food, and how much you want to spend on alcohol, so that way you don't spend all of your money, and have to create a new life or ask someone to borrow money you may never be able to pay back.

4. Don't be afraid to talk to strangers

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My boyfriend and I asked several bartenders where the best place to get a bite to eat would be, and that's how we found our new favorite restaurant— Eastern Standard. It's like the perfect restaurant if you don't think too hard about it. But our server had to tell us the staff at the bar wasn't being paid to endorse or promote it. It was just really good.

5. Look for stuff ahead of time

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If there's some type of public event, or you decide to visit on New Year's, St. Patty's Day, or on another popular date, look to see if you need tickets, and buy those ahead of time. If the weather isn't good, this will keep you from standing in line in the rain only to find out the cover charge is $60 a head.

6. Learn how to read the subway maps

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Ask someone who's been there and is good with direction, or get an app, so you don't get on the train going in the opposite direction of where you need to be. Boston and New York City should have apps where you can get the live subway schedule, so look for that if you need to.

7. Leave your car if you can

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Find a good, safe place to park, and if you know you're staying overnight, make sure the garage or lot allows that. This will also force you to explore what's around the area and you may just find something great you wouldn't have found otherwise.

8. Look at peak times

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If you're going somewhere popular to tourists, look at peak times so you can plan ahead and get there a little sooner. Standing in line is fun and all, but people can make or break that, especially when it comes to anything getting in the way of food (at least for me).

9. If you're a frequent flyer, try Pre-TSA

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If you fly a lot, you know TSA security checks can make or break your trip. If you're deemed low risk, you can get through security faster. Apply on the TSA website— www.tsa.gov

10. Don't just look at hotels

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For international travelers, hostels can be great. Some will let you stay for free if you do a few chores. Other great choices are Air BnBs and even camping. I also had a friend who couch surfed through an app, but do that at your own risk.

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