In today’s world, many students must work hard in order to study well, maintain a good GPA and receive scholarships. But there is one small group of students who have an extracurricular activity that makes them different. They are the people who can fly without wings; they are the professional dancers at UVU.

Repertory Ballet Ensemble and Ballroom Dance Company are two of the dance companies on campus. They are known for their pulchritude and sophisticated coordination that every professional dancer must have. Even though they are graceful and good at their art, many dancers struggle with balancing work, school and dance.

Mark Borchelt, associate professor of ballet and director of the Ballet Repertory Ensemble, explained that is hard and really challenging to be a student and a dancer. The students have to learn how to manage their time between homework, school, dancing and work. They have to pay bills and work for scholarships. One reason he likes UVU is that the dance department gives students opportunities and chances to succeed, but they have to do their work themselves and figure it out. He also mentioned that despite all of the stress and pressure of being a student dancer, they could succeed in the program, because they are very passionate about what they do. They work hard to get the chance to be part of the company.

Most dancers use their passion for their art to help feed their drive to come to school and learn more.

“I try to balance my class, rehearsals, work and extra practices that I have, it is stressful, but at the end this is very rewarding. It is a good preparation to the future,” Caitlin Brophy, bachelor of fine arts in dance with a ballet emphasis, senior and Repertory Ballet Ensemble member said.

Christopher Williams, assistant professor and coach of the Ballroom Dance Company said the dancers struggle to schedule their time well. They are full time students, workers, they have to practice in the mornings for two hours and come back later for extra rehearsals. Dancers also struggle with financial problems. Most people don’t understand how much energy, money and time it takes to be a student and be on a dance team.

“Specifically, the UVU Ballroom Tour team, is our top team. It’s one of the most successful and prestigious teams in United States. Just 35 dancers are accepted and when they compete they represent not just only our school, but the whole United States,” Williams said about the team traveling to Blackpool, England to compete in The British National Dance Championship.

Students can receive inspiration through the experiences and challenges of other people, no matter if they are first generation college students, traditional or nontraditional students or international students, every student could be successful, through dedication, hard work, responsibilities and sacrifices; they can become the people that this world needs with a bright future.