Balancing Training and Studio Life to Prevent Burnout | Casey Noblett – Apolla Performance Wear

Balancing Training and Studio Life to Prevent Burnout | Casey Noblett

Balancing Training and Studio Life to Prevent Burnout | Casey Noblett

Balancing Future Training with Current Studio Obligations to Avoid Burnout

If you're a dancer, a parent of a dancer, or a studio director, you're probably familiar with the relentless schedule that comes with pursuing excellence in dance. Competitions, conventions, rehearsals, and classes fill our calendars, often leaving little room for rest and recovery. In our latest episode of "Beyond the Steps," we had the pleasure of chatting with Casey, the founder of Commercial Dance Intensive (CDI), about a pressing issue: How can we balance training for the future with current studio obligations to avoid burnout?

Welcome to Beyond the StEPS

The High-Stakes World of Dance

Dance is more than just an art form; it's a demanding discipline that requires physical, emotional, and mental investment. Casey grew up in a small town where her mother ran a dance studio, and she and her brother trained extensively from a young age. This early exposure to high-level training inspired Casey to create CDI, a program designed to help dancers bridge the gap between technical training and the business side of the industry.

The Challenge: Balancing Act

One of the biggest challenges dancers face today is balancing their intense studio commitments with the need for broader training experiences. Competitive dancers, in particular, are often booked every weekend with competitions and conventions. While these events are crucial for gaining exposure and experience, they can also lead to burnout. 

Why Summer Programs Matter

Casey highlights the importance of summer programs in a dancer’s development. Unlike the fast-paced, weekend-long conventions, summer intensives offer an extended period for dancers to immerse themselves in training. These programs allow dancers to forge personal connections with faculty, receive individualized feedback, and grow in ways that aren’t possible in shorter formats.

However, Casey has noticed a decline in attendance at these intensives. Many dancers and their families feel too exhausted—both financially and physically—after a long competition season to commit to additional training over the summer.

The Personal Connection

In a convention setting, dancers may assist renowned teachers, but the personal connection is often missing. Casey recounts reaching out to a faculty member about a promising dancer, only to find that the teacher didn’t know her well beyond her technical skills. In contrast, summer programs foster close relationships between dancers and instructors, which can be pivotal when seeking recommendations for college or professional opportunities.

Studio Dynamics

Another critical aspect is the dynamic within the home studio. Competitive studios often run their own summer intensives, which can be beneficial but might also limit dancers’ exposure to different teaching styles and perspectives. Casey believes that even the best studios should encourage dancers to explore outside opportunities. This not only enriches the dancer’s experience but also brings new insights and skills back to the home studio.

Strategies for Balance

So, how can dancers and their support systems find a balance between current obligations and future aspirations without burning out? Here are a few tips:

  1. Prioritize Rest and Recovery: Schedule downtime between intense periods of activity to allow the body and mind to recover. This might mean taking a week off after a major competition season before diving into a summer program.

  1. Diversify Training: Encourage participation in different types of training outside the regular studio environment. This can include summer intensives, workshops, or classes in other dance styles.

  1. Open Communication: Parents and studio directors should have open discussions about the dancer’s goals and the importance of diverse training experiences. Understanding the long-term benefits can help in making informed decisions about summer programs and other opportunities.

  1. Financial Planning: Plan financially for the year-round costs of dance training, including competitions and additional programs. Look for scholarships and financial aid options offered by many summer intensives.

  1. Goal Setting: Set clear, achievable goals for both the short term (competition season) and long term (professional aspirations). This helps in maintaining focus and motivation while avoiding the trap of constant overworking.

Balancing current studio obligations with future training to avoid burnout is no easy feat, but it’s essential for sustaining a long and healthy dance career. Programs like CDI provide invaluable opportunities for growth and connection that can make all the difference in a dancer’s journey. By prioritizing rest, diversifying training, and maintaining open communication, dancers can thrive both now and in the future.

Keep dancing and stay balanced!


If you have any thoughts or experiences to share, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Let us know how you balance your outside summer training!

Continue your Education for yourself and your students with the StEPS Initiative Course!

About the StEPS Initiative Course

This course started in part with our charity event we created to save dance studios. Then we decided to keep it a free resource for the dance community. You can learn all about it below.

As part of our commitment to education and creating a safe space for all dancers, we are excited to introduce the StEPS Initiative Course. This has been curated by Apolla and donated from experts and professionals in each topic. 

Our goal in creating this course is to give dance teachers continuing education/professional development, give dancers the power of education, and provide parents the knowledge to see red flags. Each section has actionable items that can unite dance studios focused on equity and creating a safe space for every dancer. This course gives evidence-based information, some perspective & qualitative information, dance history, and further resources that can help you learn something new that helps progress and strengthen your studio OR solidify what you already have in place. There is something for everyone! 

This course is free for EVERYONE (Apolla has covered the cost and the presenters have donated the course content). These are meant to be introductions and actionable items for you. We know this is not a silver bullet to fix every issue or topic that needs to be addressed in dance. Each topic is deep and broad on its own. However, we aim for this to be the first step for some of us in these topics and even serves as a small catalyst for change in our industry. You will see there are also many resources that can allow you to expand your journey further in any of the subjects. With all that 2020 has thrown at all of us, we are determined to heal through listening, grow from adversity through action, and rise up by bringing everyone together. In the end, we will create a space open wide for the new generation of artists and athletes to ring in the new decade stronger and safer than ever!

Watch our Beyond the StEPS Episode on: “Balancing Future Training with Current Studio Obligations to Avoid Burnout” With our hosts Bri and Melissa, and special guests Casey Noblett!

*Casey, a trailblazer in dance education, grew up immersed in the art at her mother’s dance studio. Recognizing the need for broader training and professional guidance, she founded the Commercial Dance Intensive (CDI) to bridge the gap between traditional training and the demands of a professional career. CDI provides dancers with access to top industry professionals, emphasizing holistic development and personal connections to prevent burnout. Casey's commitment to making high-quality dance education accessible and her dedication to dancer wellness have made a significant impact on the industry, nurturing the next generation of dancers to achieve their dreams sustainably.

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