Rachel Parkinson is a 16-year-old sophomore at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, UT. When she’s not at school, she’s at The Dance Club in Orem, where she has been training and competing for eight years (this year she’ll perform 10 routines at each regional competition the studio attends!). So what’s a Monday in the very busy life of Rachel Parkinson like? Take it away, Rachel!
5:40 AM: I awake to the unwelcome sound of my alarm clock. Quickly hitting snooze, I steal an extra nine minutes, then I lay in bed for another 10 minutes scrolling my Instagram feed. I love when Daylight Savings Time rolls around — I hate waking up in the pitch black!
6:00 AM: Finally roll out of bed and hit the shower. Hearing the water, my little Shih Tzu, Sophie, cries at my bathroom door, looking for attention and for someone to take her out to potty.
6:10 AM: I wrap up in my robe and head upstairs to take the dog out. I do my hair and makeup, get dressed, and eat a quick breakfast of yogurt and toast. Everyone in the house is still sleeping, so I try to be as quiet as possible while I pack my backpack and dance bag for the day. Knowing I won’t have a chance to come home between school and dance, I choose to take my Charlie bag so I have enough room for all of my stuff.
6:40 AM: My ride arrives to take me to school. Classes don’t begin until 8:00, but I am serving as sophomore class Vice President this year, so every Monday morning I have to be at school at 7 AM as part of my student government responsibilities. Each week we host “Make it a Great Monday” where we have an activity or treat for the student body to welcome them back to school after the weekend. This particular Monday we are serving hot chocolate.
7:20 AM: Do you have any idea how sticky hot chocolate and whipped cream are?! Talk to me after you’ve served over 800 cups!
8:00 AM: Student Government Class. We clean up and get busy making posters for the upcoming “Fire and Ice” dance.
9:00 AM: Chemistry. Test tomorrow on the periodic table and various chemical equations. I just realized how I will be spending my evening. Ugh.
10:00 AM: English. To Kill a Mockingbird has become the bane of my existence. I’m finally to the trial and things are starting to get interesting, but if I have to annotate one more chapter, I might suffer an early death. Aside from that, English class flies by. It’s such a fun class with so many of my close friends to share my misery!
11:15 AM: Early check out today for me. Instead of heading to my sports sewing class, my mom picks me up so that I can go to driving school. I need to complete my final drive so that I can get my driver’s license in two weeks on my 16th birthday. Seriously so pumped! After spending nearly seven hours in the car the past few weeks with my driving instructor, we have come to know quite a bit about one another. When I tell him I am nervous about passing my driving test, he kindly reassures me: “I’ve never had a dancer fail their driving test. You kids seem to have great memories.” Hmmm…maybe all those years of learning and memorizing choreography are paying off!
1:30 PM: Mom picks me up from driving school and has grabbed me lunch. Orange chicken and steamed rice, my fave. Bless her heart. I quickly eat and then change into my dance clothes. As much as I look forward to driving my own car, I spend an awful lot of time eating, studying, and changing clothes in the car. Pretty hard to do all of those things when you’re the driver! I hate to admit it, but I will miss having my own “chauffeur” to cart me around.
2:00 PM: Meet up with my dance carpool. I train at The Dance Club in Orem, which is a 30-minute drive from my home. Luckily I have a great carpool with some fun girls on my team.
2:30–6:30 PM: Ballet, Technique, and then rehearsal. We are preparing for our annual Art with Heart charity concert to benefit Shriners Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. “We dance so others can walk” is the theme. It’s my favorite performance every year, and it’s such an honor to raise money for the care of these kids.
7:00 PM: I meet up with my family at our favorite sushi restaurant to celebrate my dad’s birthday. Dance on Monday is always a relatively short 3–4 hours. We typically finish by 7 PM. It’s always nice to have a few hours to be with my family or to catch up on homework before the week gets too crazy.
9:00 PM: Finally, a hot shower after a long day. I spend altogether too much time standing under the tap, procrastinating the homework that still awaits.
9:15–10:30 PM: Study. Text. Instagram. Study. Stretch. Brush my teeth. More texting. Study. Study. Study.
10:45 PM: At last…bed. Another long day in the books. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I love to dance and I love school. I adore my friends and family, and I’m happiest when I am busy. Life is good. I fall asleep remembering the words of my driving instructor: “Dance kids have great memories.” Hoping that serves me well for my chem test tomorrow!