Good Time Management Skills for the Dancer

By Megan Neese, GCU student earning a BA in Dance

Dance student with good time management skills

As dancers, we often have a million things going on at once. Not only do we have to juggle our dance schedules but we must also maintain good grades, social lives and jobs. If a dancer does not have an effective plan for handling all these responsibilities, they can quickly become overwhelmed.

The demands of this busy life can easily exhaust you and make it hard to care for yourself. Although it can be challenging to handle everything on your plate and still find time to dance, it can be done.

Do you want to know how to improve your time management skills? Below are some essential time management skills and strategies for dancers.

Get Organized and Set Priorities

As a dance student, you will have a lot going on between classes, rehearsals and performances. This may require you to make sacrifices, but it will be worth it in the long run.

First, get a planner or calendar of some kind. It is helpful to have an idea of what the month ahead might look like as well as a detailed schedule of the upcoming week.

Making a checklist of things to accomplish in order of what is most urgent will help you stay on top of your priorities. It can be rewarding to check things off your list. The sooner you complete your to-do list, the sooner you can get to other activities that bring you joy.

Take Advantage of Every Moment

Look at your schedule to find hours of opportunity. Catch up on emails or phone calls during the hour between rehearsals. Between performances, use your two-hour break to look for audition opportunities. Make the most of your time by using all the moments between your major commitments.

In addition, you can organize your time in such a way that you have the most time possible to get things done. It is wise to keep a calendar and checklist either on your phone, using one of the many apps available, or in a written planner if you prefer to jot things down by hand.

Learning When and How to Say No

You only have so many hours in a week, so it is important to prioritize your time. If you already have three rehearsals each week and an opportunity presents itself to add another, ask yourself honestly if saying yes is the smartest thing for you to do. This is one of the most important time management tips to remember as a dancer.

Taking on too much can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Sometimes it can be challenging to say no, but you should consider your wellbeing and goals before you say yes. Do not make time for everybody else and forget about yourself. You need time to unwind and practice self-care.

Schedule Down Time

Although we rarely consider making time to relax, it is an important element of time management. As previously stated, you should schedule time for yourself each week. It will keep you grounded and balanced throughout the week, especially when things get busy.

You will be able to enjoy yourself more throughout the week when you take care of yourself first. If you care for yourself outside of the dance studio, you will be able to perform and focus better when you are in the studio.

If you are not sure what self-care looks like, here are some examples of common self-care practices:

  • Resting
  • Reading
  • Journaling
  • Stretching/yoga
  • Meditation
  • Going outside
  • Enjoying your favorite foods or drinks

Not only does down time give you a chance to focus on yourself but it also opens time for you to spend with friends and family. Dance is not your whole life; it can be easy to spend all your time training and forget about the people who love you. Being with those you love is another great way to take care of yourself and reset before you dive back into your busy dance schedule.

Professional Career and Time Management

Strong time management skills are not only beneficial for dance training but are also necessary if you want to make a career out of dance. When you are on the job, your employers will have high expectations; missing a rehearsal when on the job is a big deal. Although you may have been able to get away with this habit before, it will most likely not slide in a professional work environment. Being tardy or missing a rehearsal may result in you being fired from a job.

Being fired will burn bridges with any connections you have made and will leave a bad impression, impacting future opportunities. Gaining awareness of how long things will take to complete and proactively tackling key tasks will help you work more efficiently and ensure that you can finish everything that you need to. People with good time management skills are naturally more productive and in-control, and they are less likely to suffer from stress.

The schedules of dancers are hectic and constantly changing. Rehearsals are rescheduled, work shifts change and last-minute auditions arise. Dancers are always on their toes, both literally and figuratively. However, learning how to improve your time management skills and staying one step ahead of your schedule are crucial to a long, successful dance career.

Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Dance to help you turn your passion into a career. Learn more about GCU’s College of Arts and Media. If you enjoyed these time management tips, explore more Performing Arts & Digital Arts blogs.


Approved by the Director of Dance on Sept. 13, 2022.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.