A Week in the Life of a Ballet Student (Student Blog Series)
By Sophia Marcheli
Monday mornings are always a bit of a struggle for me, so it’s a good thing my morning ballet class starts at 9:30 am. I usually wake up around 6:30 and try to be ready to leave my house around 7:45 am. It takes an hour to get to Houston Ballet, so I end up getting to the studios around 8:45 am. We always start off with a 90-minute technique class and then an hour-long pointe class. After class, we have an hour break and then we all get to go to the Body Conditioning room for one hour and we work on strengthening. Usually, we will have a 3½-hour break before our evening classes, but when a performance is coming up, we will often have rehearsal from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Because shows for The Nutcracker have started, our teachers did not call for rehearsal. During the break, my friends and I like to go to one of the higher floors and do our schoolwork while we watch the company. Our evening classes then run from 4:30 to 8:30 pm, so I get home at 9:30 pm and try to fit in more schoolwork while I eat dinner.
On Tuesdays, class starts at 9:00 am, when the traffic seems to be worse, so I wake up at 6:00 am and try to leave by 7:00 am. I always feel that Tuesdays are my longest day because I have technique, pointe, and variations back to back. This week in variations, we learned the beginning of Grand Pas Classique which was very challenging. After those classes, I have another 3½-hour break for schoolwork; sometimes I will also go out and pick up lunch with my friends. During the break this week, I filmed a video audition and took audition pictures with my friends since auditions start at the beginning of January. We then came back for evening classes from 4:30 to 8:00 pm, which included another 2-hour technique class, 1 hour of pointe, and then 30 minutes of body conditioning.
I do not have a class on Wednesday morning, so I always let myself sleep in until 7:30 am, then start working by 8:15 and spend as long as possible on my schoolwork. I usually have a 2-hour rehearsal before my technique class, but this week, instead of rehearsing our Spring Show piece, our teachers decided to have a run-through of the second act of The Nutcracker, which meant I needed to leave my house around 12:45 to get there on time. After the rehearsal, my teacher always gives me and my classmates time to rest before our afternoon technique class (4:00-5:30 pm) and pointe class (5:30-6:30 pm).
I get home around 7:30, so I always have plenty of time to work on schoolwork before I go to bed. This week, my little brother had a track meet, so my parents went to go watch him and I was able to make myself dinner, which is always a fun break for me.
I tend to love Thursdays because they are my day off from ballet and I’m able to rest and work on schoolwork. This week, however, I had a school show at 2:00 pm, so I had to go to a morning technique class at 10:30 am. This was still nice since I had time to rest and work on schoolwork in the morning and didn’t have to leave my house until 9:15.
After technique class finished at noon, I grabbed a coffee and headed to the theater so I would be there be there with enough time to put on all my makeup. After the show finished, I rushed to take off all my makeup so that I could make it back to the studios in time for the pre-school ballet class I am a teaching assistant for. After the class finished, I got home by 6:00 pm and was able to catch up on school reading while taking a bath.
By Friday I am usually very tired, but I have a morning technique class at 9:00 am and then pointe that ends at 11:45 am. Fridays are some of my favorite classes because they’re taught by my favorite teacher who always gives us fun combinations for the end of the week. While we usually stay after pointe and have a break before our afternoon technique and character class, my teacher told us that she canceled the afternoon so that we could go home and relax since most of us had more shows that weekend. When I got home I made sure to get back on top of all my assignments and then went to bed early.
I have to leave the house by 6:45 am for my 8:00 am Yamuna class, which is a special body-rolling technique that conditions your muscles. I had a technique class at 9:00 am and another variations class that ended at 11:30 am. This week we had a 1½-hour break before my modern class (1:00-2:00 pm) and jazz class from (2:00-3:00 pm).
Usually, after jazz finishes, I’ll go home for the rest of the day, but since I had an evening show I stayed at the studios to work on schoolwork. My friends and I went to pick up and dinner and stopped at CVS to pick up extra makeup for the show before heading to the theater to get ready. The show started at 7:30 pm and finished around 10:00 pm, so I worked quickly to take off all of my makeup and get to my car so I could go home and sleep after a long week!
I am a senior here at Laurel Springs, and this is my second year as a student blogger. I live in Houston, Texas, and I am a full-time ballet student at the Houston Ballet Academy. I love to read, write, and take photos, and I hope to study journalism in college. This year I am serving as the Secretary of National Honor Society, and I am a part of many other LSS clubs.
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