L ast month, Australian National University student, Conor Simpson, won the prestigious title of World Irish Dancing Champion.

Conor, with an average grade of high distinction, is studying a double degree of finance and economics.

As the end of the university semester is coming to an end, Conor shares with NowUC journalist, Jessica Manuel, on what it takes to maintain the stress of university and a World Championship title as well as how other students can learn a balance as well.

University Student and World Champion Irish Dancer, Conor Simpson.  Source: Supplied.

University Student and World Champion Irish Dancer, Conor Simpson. Source: Supplied.

Jessica: I know time is limited for you Conor so I appreciate you meeting with me.  Can you give a breakdown of what you do each week and how many hours go into that?

Conor: I spend between 30-40 hours per week either studying, doing assignments or attending classes.  I work around my uni schedule to train for dancing which is generally 2 hours every day but also need to fit in extra time for ab work, stretching and plyometric training.  So about 20 hours per week is dedicated to dance.  I also work two five hour shifts every week.  So I don’t get much time to relax but I try find some time every day.

Jessica: How do you balance all of this?

Conor: I try and prioritise when I am really busy by just doing whatever is most needed. I often try and plan what needs to be done and when I am going to do it. At uni I keep up by doing little bits more consistently and then with dancing I have scheduled times to practice.

Jessica: How supportive has the university been of your dancing?

Conor: The University has been very good.  For most of my subjects I was allowed to do exams early as I was at the World Championships on Montreal when exams were on.

Jessica: How do you manage the stress of such a busy schedule?

Conor: I am not the most organised person but when things are really busy, I kind of just have to be.  That is the same way I am about stress.  I just keep going and try not to let it affect me.  I don’t generally get stressed but when I do I find that doing yoga or going out for coffee with friends can be a good distraction.

Jessica: Any last tips for students in the last few weeks of the semester?

Conor: Chocolate helps!

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