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Nursing Major? This dancer proves you can still dance!

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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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Five Essential Items for Tech Week

Every dancer has a love/hate relationship with a certain week of the year: tech week.

Tech week leaves you not just psychically, but mentally exhausted. It is full of long hours, dress rehearsals, busy days with no hours to yourself, and puffy eyes from the combination of too much make up and no sleep. However, this all leads up to the greatest reward of all: multiple shows that display all the hard work of you and your fellow dancers. Hence, it is essential to stock up on certain items to keep you sane during a week that seems to never end.

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Here’s five items you will not want to forget:

1. Muscle Rub

You can buy this product at any aid store, and believe me it can do wonders. When you run a show day and in and day out, it can leave achy muscles no matter how much stretching you may do beforehand. Rubbing this on certain sore areas,  adds an additional support system to your main muscles when you are dancing.

2.Powerade/Gatorade

Water is a great way to hydrate your system, but it is important to have one of these beverages on hand. As dancers, we lose electrolytes due to numerous intense athletic dance pieces in a row. Powerade and Gatorade replaces these electrolytes lost, and gives you the energy to get through your other dance pieces!

3. Body Rollers

 You know when you lay in bed at the end of a long tech day and your whole body aches? Well, body rollers are here to help. This tool helps relieve and loosen tension muscles in your body. As you roll out, it is important that you breath, relax, and let go!

4. Tennis Balls

Dancers play tennis  dance on the stage.While rollers release tension in large sections of the body, tennis balls are for specific areas, a trigger-point release. Putting pressure with a tennis ball over the sore point can soften knots in your back,chest, hamstrings, feet, etc.

5. Candy

Yes, you can eat candy. Shocking right? Eating healthy during this week is extremely important, but splurging on a bit of candy is not a bad thing. The sugar will give you that extra boost you will need in between shows and also works as a de-stresser.

Obviously, there are many more items that you may need during this grueling week, but these specific items will help not just help during the week, but the aftermath you will be faced with. So, find time during breaks to grab your body roller, keep hydrated, and eat a few sour patch kids!