Former New York City Ballet dancer Linda Hamilton, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice, the author of Advice for Dancers (Jossey-Bass) and co-author of The Dancer's Way: The New York City Ballet Guide to Mind, Body, and Nutrition (St. Martin's Griffin). Her website is drlindahamilton.com.
Why do I keep getting stress fractures? I menstruate normally, dance on a sprung floor and take calcium supplements to strengthen my bones. I also follow my orthopedist's instructions and did rehab after previous stress fractures. What's wrong with my body?
—Rose, Yonkers, NY
My nerves have been a mess since auditioning for a Nutcracker my teacher recommended me for. I freaked out because I was afraid to disappoint her. I didn't get hired, although my audition material is being kept on file by the artistic director. I feel like a complete failure.
—Loser, Hoboken, NJ
I had to stop physical therapy for a chronic subluxing knee after suffering a second-degree leg burn from spilling hot cooking oil. I've been to the doctor, used antibiotic cream, and washed and bandaged the burned area daily based on his directions. But it's taking forever to heal! I don't understand why my body won't respond.
—Burn Victim, San Diego, CA
My noisy roommates are driving me crazy, but I can't handle the cost of an apartment on my own. I'm trying to make money by catering between dance classes and performing. I'm also looking into babysitting. Do you have any other ideas about how I can move out?
—Tom, New York, NY
I thought I'd be fine after undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn ankle ligament. Instead, I'm depressed and hopeless that I'm still not able to perform. My therapist tells me I'm making good progress, but I don't see it. Why not?
—Ashley, San Francisco, CA