A Day in the Life of a Professional Ballerina

Has your child dreamed of putting on a tutu and taking the stage with professional ballerinas? This blog is for them! At District Dance, we love offering unique performing opportunities for dancers, which is why we put together a Spring Ballet Production each year. One of the highlights of this performance is that our students get to dance alongside professional dancers! 

Today we will be featuring Elizabeth Watson, a professional ballerina who performed as Peter in last year’s Spring Ballet production. Elizabeth will also be featured in THIS year’s production of Snow White. She’s a beautiful dancer and her daily hustle is one to be admired! 

Read on to get a glimpse into a day in the life of Elizabeth Watson while she was rehearsing for District Dance’s Peter Pan Ballet:

performing opportunities for dancers

7:00 AM

Wake up and shower.

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM

Drink my coffee, do my makeup, and get dressed. Fun fact: I quit caffeine about a year ago and have never felt better or looked back! Only decaf for this lady!

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

Respond to e-mails. I work as the Director of Programs for HillVets; a non-profit that helps veterans in SecondService careers in policy and politics. My job is very transient in that some days I work from home, some days at a shared co-working space, and other days on the Hill. My main role is to help Veterans find Fellowship placements and paid employment in Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. Some of the e-mails I get are from these Congressional offices looking for Fellows. Others are from our current Fellows with questions. Some are applications for our programs. Lately, most of my e-mail traffic has been centered around our upcoming gala event. We are one week away! I’m helping coordinate video productions, obtaining rights for videos that will be played at the event, and helping coordinate guests and performers in attendance.

performing opportunities for dancers

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Metro to the Hill.  The metro is a good forcing function for me to relax. A lot of times, I don’t have cell service underground so I can unplug and listen to music or a podcast during the ride. My favorite podcasts lately are Hello From the Magic Tavern and This Podcast Will Kill You. 

10:30 AM

Arrrive at the Longworth House Building. Fun fact: 95% of my meetings on the Hill, and probably most business in general, takes place at the Longworth Dunkin Donuts. 

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ambassador Meeting with a Senate staff member. Part of my job is recruiting members of Congress to support our organization and consider our Fellows for positions in their offices. I meet with staffers (usually at the Longworth Dunkin), tell them about our programs and the types of Fellows we typically recruit and answer any questions they may have.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

 Catch up on e-mails that I missed during the meeting. Build an e-blast to go out tomorrow and coordinate with our team via Slack.

1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Back on the metro!

performing opportunities for dancers1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Tour of a new HillVets House. We provide housing to our Fellows in our program. Currently, our HillVets House is located in Crystal City but we are on the hunt for a bigger and better house closer to Capitol Hill. We’ve been doing a lot of these tours over the past couple of weeks.

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Get changed, throw my hair in a bun, and pack my bag for the theatre.

3:00 PM -4:00 PM

Hop in the car and drive to dress rehearsal. This commute is not as easy. It usually takes about an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half to drive from Alexandria to District Dance. More time for podcasts. I’ve also crushed a few audiobooks this way. The most recent audiobooks I have devoured have been the Mistborn series. Fortunately, the theatre is a little closer and only takes 45 minutes – an hour to get there.

performing opportunities for dancers4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Dress rehearsal for Peter Pan. This year, I’m lucky enough to play Pan himself! This is such a fun role to play. The character is very playful, youthful, curious, and innocent. I’ve loved interacting and collaborating with the District Dance kiddos on this.

10:00 PM

Get home and wind down. This is actually an earlier night for me which is exciting. Most nights that I have rehearsal, we usually don’t finish until 10 PM which means I’m getting home around 10:30 PM. As a result, the adrenaline from dancing keeps me up a while so I try to wind down with crossword puzzles or a TV show I’ve already seen before clocking out. Additionally, I try not to leave any dirty dishes in the sink before bed but sometimes, I’m just too tired and that has to wait.

Wow… just wow! We know a lot of our young dancers look up to the pros, so we can’t wait for them to read about Elizabeth’s day!

This year’s Snow White Production is going to be SPECTACULAR. If you loved hearing about Elizabeth, be sure to jump on your chance to perform on stage with her! District Dance invites children from the community age 4+ to audition on November 16th. All auditioning dancers are cast in a role because we believe every child is a star! Click here to RSVP!

Spring Ballet Auditions November 16

2:00 – 2:45 pm | 4 – 6 year-olds
3:00 – 3:45 pm | 7 – 9 year-olds
4:00 – 5:00 pm | 10+ year-olds
Please arrive 30 minutes before audition time for check-in. Dancers must be 4 years old by January 1 to audition.

Good luck to all auditioning. We can’t wait to see Elizabeth and our beautiful dancers shine on stage this Spring!