Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a student at one of the top ballet schools in the world? To put it simply, days begin early and end late with a lot in between. Indigo Stevens, the main character in WISH, my new young adult novel, wants this life more than anything. If she gets her wish, her days will be filled with ballet classes, rehearsals, and other add-ons like Pilates or yoga class. But she’s also a high school student, with all the same school requirements as anyone else. Add all of these things together and you can see how challenging it is to manage everything.
There’s some good news: the ballet studio and Indigo’s potential home and school are all within walking distance so she won’t have to factor in (or deal with) public transportation (which is often unreliable at best). However, life still gets complicated with all the back and forth between NYSB and her school. She has to change back and forth from street clothes to ballet clothes each time, which adds to the complication (plus it’s not easy yanking off sweaty tights quickly).
Finding time to eat is also a challenge, but Indigo will learn to carry light snacks she can munch on the fly. Some of her favorites include energy bars (only if they are low in sugar and have a short list of ingredients), mixed nuts, dried fruit, and yogurt.
It will only possible for her to attend school for two periods each day due to her heavy ballet schedule, but her school offers a work-around: home study courses. While this may seem like a great solution it means hours of homework at night after a long day at the ballet studio.
It’s a good thing she loves what she does, otherwise she might not be able to keep up with her life. On her toughest days she turns to her favorite guilty pleasure: a frozen yogurt topped with carob chips and coconut.
Here is what a typical day will look like for Indigo:
6am: wake up. Sew ribbons on multiple pairs of pointe shoes while munching on health-conscious breakfast.
6:30am: contrast bath right foot to help heal tendonitis flare-up.
6:45am: pack dance bag, make sure to bring snacks, multiple sets of practice clothes, Tiger Balm to put on sore muscles.
6:55 am: finish English essay, half-written before falling asleep mid-sentence.
7:30 am: get dressed
7:40 am: put hair up in bun
8:10 am: load school back pack, walk ½ mile to school.
8:30-9:30 am: attend first period, hand in English essay.
9:35 am: walk ½ mile to NYSB.
10-11:30 am: morning class, studio A.
11:35 am: change back to street clothes
11:40 am: lunch on the fly while walking ½ mile back to school.
12:10-1:15 pm: Pre-Calculus with Dr. Phelps. Struggle to keep eyes open.
1:20 pm: walk ½ mile back to NYSB.
2:30-4 pm: Variations class with Madame Glinka
4:15-5:15pm: Pilates strength training
5:15pm: power snack
5:30-6:30 pm: Serenade rehearsal
6:35pm: change back to street clothes
6:45pm: walk ½ mile home
7:15-9:15pm: eat deli sushi while reading & completing assignment for History correspondence course
9:15-10:45pm: complete homework for pre-calculus, biology, French
total hours danced: 5 hours
total hours of school: 5 1/2 hours
total miles walked: 2 miles
As you can see, each day is jam-packed. Keep in mind dance classes are mandatory six days per week, with Sundays as the only day off, so there’s not much free time. But when this is the life you’ve chosen it’s a tough but thrilling ride. If everything goes well, you move up to the professional level.