Balancing Theatre & Dance

Jennifer Butler

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

I have been involved with both theater and dance since I was young, but rarely at the same time, until now. I had a part in my elementary school play, did dance in middle school and focused on theater in high school. I went off to college hoping to be involved with theater but wound up in dance and have been in a dance class at least once a week ever since. 

Then about two years ago, I realized how much I missed theater and wanted to be involved again. Since then I have been balancing rehearsals, competitions, and performances, sometimes having to figure out how to be in two places at once. 

However, for me, there is something about having to be in two places at once. Something about the rush of leaving dance and running to the theater, or being late for dance because you got stuck at the theater, it fills me with adrenaline and pride. Pride in that I get to spend my days and nights doing what I love. Which is weird for me because I am someone who highly dislikes being late. 

Yet, I don’t mind having to balance both dance and theater as well as a couple of part time jobs. Don’t get me wrong though, that feeling of pride comes with a really high stress level at times and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of my dance friends and theater production team members. Occasionally things work out and theater and dance rehearsals fall on opposite nights. That just means I am hardly ever home and feel like I am living at the theater and the studio. This has taught me balance in a different way. To make sure that I am eating right and getting enough rest to keep my energy up, in order to make it to all of the rehearsals and performances. 

No worries though, I would not change what I am doing for the world. I am at a point in my life that I have been working towards for a while now, and doing things that I thought were impossible. You see though, the thing about having both theater and dance in my life is that they both give me the opportunity to learn new things, opportunities to be creative, and most importantly, they are the places where I feel like I finally fit in somewhere. 

The studio and the theater are my home away from home, a lot of the time, and as stressful as it can be, I would rather have to figure out how to be in two places at once then to live a life of “What Ifs” like I did two years ago.