After being stuck in the corps for the last seven years, I long to perform solo roles. My director says to be patient, but my friends tell me I'm wasting my talent and could easily be a soloist in a smaller company. Is it worth leaving a national company to dance better roles in a regional group? I'm afraid I'd feel like a loser. I'm 26 years old.

—Frustrated Corps Dancer, New York, NY


While it's difficult to switch to a smaller troupe after making it into a major company, it's obvious that the lack of opportunities at your current job is taking a toll on you. Rather than jump ahead and label yourself a loser if you leave, why not see what's out there first? It's fine to audition for both large and small companies. Just see if you like the repertoire, feel comfortable in class and can speak to the director about your prospects. Only then do you need to weigh the pros and cons of changing your place of employment. As long as you respect the quality of the work, performing solo roles may help you reach your full artistic potential. If possible, leave the door open, so you can return to your original job if things don't work out.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.