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.
I'm heartbroken that I might have to drop out of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. My back has been spasming since I did an extra-high kick to the back. My X-ray and MRI are normal, but my doctor thinks I hurt my sacroiliac joint. Physical therapy hasn't helped yet. How can I know for sure that this is the real problem?
—Injured Rockette, New York, NY
My girlfriend wants me to say "no" to extra work outside of the company. During breaks, I typically teach master classes, do gigs and choreograph. I love these opportunities, but I'm always tired and it interferes with our time together. What should I do?
—Principal Dancer, New York, NY
It took two years of intense nutrition counseling and psychotherapy to pull me out of being anorexic. My problem now is that I've gained too much weight from eating normally. Is there no middle ground? I can't fit into my clothes, but I don't want to go back to being sick.
—Former Anorexic, Weston, CT
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