A delicate balance: life as collegiate dancer

 Grambling Orchesis Tatyana Wright. Courtesy photo

From the classroom to field performances the life of an Orchesis to some may seem lovely but making the commitment to dance or a college level proves challenging.

Tatyana Wright, a sophomore student in mass communications at Grambling State University, knows this dynamic all too well. 

Trying to find the balance between class participation and a life of dance is not always the most ideal thing to do. 

“I’ve been dancing since I was in the fourth grade, but nothing could have prepared me for this,” Wright said.

For many of the girls involved with the Orchesis, dancing has been a way of expression for many years and is second nature for those continuing on in dance at the college level in hopes of making that a lifelong career. 

“Growing up I thought I was going to be the next Kaelyn Harris and I just wanted to get paid to display different genres of dance,” Wright said. “It’s different now I definitely know that I don’t see myself having a career in dance it’s just a hobby I’m good at.” 

On a day-to-day basis Wright attends morning and early afternoon classes so that by 4 p.m. she is ready to start practice. Practice is daily from 4 to 5:30 p.m. after which dancers break until 6 p.m.  and practice starts back up continuing to at least 9 p.m. but sometimes longer. This schedule does not include Wright’s busy weekends.   

Wright says the way she gets through it all is learning to prioritize. 

“My first semester I was new to everything and it was more than I could take but I eventually got the flow of things,” Wright said. 

With this new found acknowledgment of lack of free time outside of dance, Wright is ready to step out and let her hobby take a back seat so that she can make sure her future is secured. 

Wright said while her days as a dancer on a collegiate level has run their course she feels the dedication to honing her skills as a dancer will easily transition into a career as a broadcast journalist. 

Knowing what she wants is not a trait Wright lacks, she feels her aspirations are to become a TV personality for a day time talk show and is enthusiastic to start the journey to get there. 

Though she feels it is time to venture away from dance she will not lose the love or passion for the art form.

“I will probably dance here and there maybe do a little heel, hip hop and expressive genre classes as a past time.”