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The pros and cons of committing to competitive dance

Kidsday reporter Evelyn Apazidis at her ballet class.

Kidsday reporter Evelyn Apazidis at her ballet class. Credit: Apazidis family

I dance classical ballet at the American Ballet Theatre — JKO School of Dance in Manhattan, and dance many hours per week.

Doing a sport so intensely has many pros and cons. An example of the pros would be the amazing friendships that you make with your teammates. I go to dance class five times a week in the city. I have been going there for three years, and it is a lot of work. I look forward to it every time because I have many strong bonds with the other girls in my class. They are like family.

Another good thing about doing a sport is you develop a skill. Having a skill can really help you academically and in your future career. For example, if you can play football very well, it could help you to get a scholarship or even a career in the sport.

Even if you are not great at a sport, it can still help you with the skills of discipline and focus. It takes much discipline to work at something so intensely.

My last benefit is the health bonuses. Working out, eating healthy and staying active while doing a sport are extremely good for your body. It can even improve your mental health by increasing your energy and making you feel happier by increasing self-esteem. Kids who are engaged in sports that they love will feel productive and proud of their accomplishments.

Now, as I said, there are some cons. One is having a very busy schedule. Many times this year, I had to miss activities. I felt isolated because I was unable to go to an after-school event that all my friends were going to attend.

Since I also have a long commute into the city, I missed things like our school movie night and fun fundraisers.

It can also be difficult to balance school, homework and my dance commitments. At times, I miss class, and it can be hard to keep up with all the work. Another downside on doing a sport is possible injuries. Even though sports have many health benefits, the rigorous workout can also harm your body.

During class there’s a lot of pressure on all of us to properly stretch and stay healthy because an injury can keep us out of class. Bigger, more serious injuries can permanently damage your body.

In the end, with all the pros and cons of participating in an intense sport, the most important thing is to be doing what you love. If you love your sport, then it is worth every minute.

This website has more information on training to become a dancer: abt.org/training/dancer-training

Meagan Miller’s students, Ivy League School, Smithtown

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