College can be tough on your body. You’re living in a dorm, sharing showers and personal space with all kinds of new strangers who have all kinds of odd germs and whose hygiene practices may not, to put it kindly, be as stringent as yours.
You’re away from your kitchen and the foods that have always been familiar to you, and are instead eating from a meal plan – if you have time for a meal! Otherwise you’re grabbing prepackaged snack bars or cups of noodles while rushing to class or cramming late at night.
You’re also stressed from hard work, maybe a little bit homesick, and adjusting to what is probably the most major change of your life so far. It’s tough.
There are lots of ways to prepare yourself for the health rigors that college presents, including adopting healthy eating habits now, learning how to cook your own food, and getting the required vaccines and health boosts that will keep your immune system functioning at its best when you arrive on campus.
All of these steps are as important a part of the college preparation program as taking SAT courses and buying twin XL sheets. That’s because college prep isn’t just about getting ready to sit in college level courses. It’s also about being able to succeed at college life, 24/7, in and out of the classroom.
One especially effective way to combat the mental and physical challenges that college prep as well as college life can present is through dancing. Dancers come to campus armed with the skills and tools to combat everything from emotional stress to the physical toll of being a student, just by virtue of their training and hard-earned skills. Here’s why:
1) Dancing is healthy exercise
We all know exercise is good for you. It busts stress, boosts the strength of your heart and lungs, and keeps the body in tip-top shape so it can fight off bugs and function at its best.
Dancing, which at its core is cardio and strength work, is one of the best and most fun ways to get exercise and keep the body in shape.
2) Dancers can work as a team
So much of the success of college life depends on new students being able to thrive at teamwork. From class projects to extra-curricular programs to simply navigating the halls of their new campus, being able to work with others, take direction, offer leadership and listen to a group will help you in endless ways.
Dancers, however, as used to working as teams. Even trained soloists understand what’s required to be part of an ensemble, and all dancers have clocked hours in packed classes, working alongside others to perform at their best.
3. Dancing busts stress
Dancing is physical exercise that also acts as an emotional outlet. Like all movement, dance makes your body and mind feel good, and it allows you to literally exit the harried outside world and enter a safe space where only your body and your moves matter.
In the high-stress, high-pressure environment of college, dancing is a fabulous tool to burn off stress and keep the mind feeling calm and in harmony. Dancers who are trained in switching from their ordinary lives to the lives of the studio and stage will excel at college when they need to stay calm and keep their stress from overwhelming them. That’s because they’ve been doing it in their own training for years.
4) Dancing builds confidence
Confident students do better. They raise their hands in class without fear of speaking to the professor. They thrive in campus activities and they are better liked by their classmates. And dancers, who live their lives on stage in a spotlight, have earned the natural confidence required by their field.
Dancing builds confidence because to do it well you have to trust yourself, let go of inhibitions and be willing to be watched by admirers. The same goes for many college activities, so dancers will naturally thrive at school by simply doing what they do best – being themselves.
5) Dancers can dance anywhere
Dancing is the ultimate portable hobby because you only need your body to do it. Even without the studio or stage, dancers can tap into their beloved movement and reap all the benefits it provides. It’s a great college activity because it will come with you to campus and everywhere you go.