A blog for college dancers

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Nursing Major? This dancer proves you can still dance!


Every dancer needs one thing: passion.

However, what happens when you have a passion besides dance? Well, dancer Alysia Sjoberg knows what that is all about.  Training in various styles since the young age of three, this well-rounded dance has not one clue what life is without the art form.

Dancing with FusionWorks Dance Company her sophomore  year of high school, performing in the Boston Contemporary Festival last summer, and currently accepted to participate in the Urbanity Dance summer intensive, it is clear she is extraordinarily talented. Yet, would her aspiration to become a nurse essentially get in the way of her passion for dance? Of course not.

When Sjoberg  decided to attend to Salve Regina University she was forced to make a  major decision; pick between dance and nursing. Sounds pretty scary right? Well, she was not ready to give up dance completely. Currently in her sophomore year, she is a Nursing major unable to fit a dance minor.  Yet, she is a member of the University’s professional dance company, Extensions Dance Company.

She explains she has complete faith that fulfilling both her passions is possible! Getting up at the crack of dawn for  nursing clinical while staying in the dance studio for rehearsal until 10 pm, the question is: How does she do it? Personally, I call Alysia Sjoberg the “dance wonder woman.” 

Describe what does dance means to you.

Dance is my release. It is a way for me to release all of the built up stress that I have accumulated throughout the week. It is a way for me to express my emotions, especially things that I can’t put into words. It is something that makes me feel unique, and sets me apart from others. It is a huge part of my life and will continue to be for a long time in the future.

What made you decide to be a nursing major over a dance major?

I have always had a calling to help people. I found a passion working with children whether in the dance studio or volunteering and that also sparked my interest in nursing. Also the stability of a career in nursing really attracted me to this major. I see dance as more of a passion than a lifetime career for me. Dance is something that I do for myself and I wanted a major that would provide me with a job where I could help others. I am dancing about 5 nights a week and still doing what I love so I personally think it was the right choice for me.

Being a nursing major, how do you involve yourself in dance?

I am involved in Extension’s Dance Company where I have had numerous performance opportunities. I take one technique class during the week, to continue my dance education. I also am involved in SRU Dance in both the fall and spring semester. This allows me to be dancing almost every Sunday of the year. Finally, I am involved in the Student Choreography Showcase in the spring semester where I learn and then perform new pieces.

What advice would you give to a dancer who cannot be a dance major or minor?

I would say if you really love to dance put yourself in every performance opportunity possible. Yes, with schoolwork it can be stressful at times but in the end it is so worth it. The connections and opportunities I have been presented with as a dancer who is neither a minor or major are incredible.



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The Double is Possible

Double. No, not a double pirouette. I mean a double major.  Seems pretty scary huh? 

Well, fear not because it IS possible. This is the last thing one wants to think about, but it’s a route many dance majors seem to take. Dance is our passion, but sometimes one might have an interest in another field. One might want to combine the two degrees in their future or even just have their other degree in their back pocket  dance bag.

Being apart of a dance program can already be full of endless hours with no free time, but where is that time to add another major? Here’s a few tips on how to do both:

Pick a major that compliments your dance major. Some majors, such as, nursing and biology, max your number of credits making both completely impossible. Your college advisors are here to help. So, make a meeting and figure out which major is possible to co exist with dance!

It is all about your time management. Carrying around an agenda book helps keep track of your busy schedule. Try a mini size agenda book, that will fit perfectly between your books water bottle and ballet shoes! This will help you be aware of your free time, even though it’s extremely minimum. That fifteen minute apple break between rehearsals is the perfect time to get a bit of work done!

Finally, remember that thing our bodies naturally do? Oh yeah, it’s called breathing. Running around from class to rehearsal can be overwhelming, so find a quiet place whether it’s the dance studio or the quiet floor in the campus library, and use these helpful breathing exercises  that Dance Spirit suggests.