Advice for Dancers
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I'm really upset with myself for bingeing. I'm good with my diet for a few days, but then I give in and stuff myself with pizza and ice cream and am filled with self-hate.

—Binge Eater, White Plains, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Wearing heavy stage makeup can take a toll on your skin. Photo by rawpixel/Unsplash

Does stage makeup cause acne? I've had breakouts throughout my teens and 20s, but they get worse during performances. What can I do?

—Faceful of Pimples, Las Vegas, NV

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Advice for Dancers
Directors tend to pick dancers who fit the company's style, body type and need for a particular height. Photo by Jim Lafferty for Pointe

Are auditions rigged? Sometimes I see mediocre dancers make it into a company, and I just don't get it. The audition process is unnerving for me without feedback or any understanding of the rules.

—Madison, Santa Monica, CA

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Advice for Dancers
After dedicating your life to dance for so many years, it's unrealistic to expect that you'll fall for a new vocation right away. Photo by Ralph Daily/Wikimedia Commons

Why is it so hard to find another passion like dance for my next career? I've tried to prepare by taking vocational tests at Career Transition For Dancers and online college courses. But I keep hitting a dead end.

—Life After Dance?, Los Angeles, CA

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Advice for Dancers
If your parents are overly supportive of you pursuing dance, it may become difficult to gauge your own interest. Getty Images

I don't understand why I've lost my motivation to dance at 20 years old. My parents have always encouraged me to have a life plan and ask continuously how my pre-professional training program is going. I feel crushed by their expectations. I'm actually relieved when I get injured and can't dance, even though I miss it.

—Confused, Nashville, TN

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Advice for Dancers
Stretching for 30-second intervals throughout the day is an effective way to improve flexibility. Getty Images

It's been three months since I pulled my hamstring while working extra hard on my flexibility in hot yoga. I've done physical therapy every week. But even though it's now healed, I feel pain as soon as I try to dance. Why can't I get over this?

—Meghan, New York, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Remember, a successful dance career is a result of your hard work. Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris/Unsplash

I've never been happier! I have a steady dance gig, a boyfriend and a nice apartment. The only problem is I'm terrified of losing everything. Is this normal?

—Chris, Queens, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Stepping back when you're injured doesn't mean you've failed as a dancer. Stocksnap

I feel like a failure because I canceled a big competition after getting injured. I'd hoped that ending up in the finals might get me a position in a company. Now what?

—Devon, Washington, DC

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Advice for Dancers
While it's smart for a director to recognize your strengths, developing other aspects of your artistry can help you be considered for a greater variety of roles. Thinkstock

I always dreamed of being a lead dancer. But since reaching my goal, I feel stuck performing the same bravura roles year after year. I want to do more expressive parts, too. How can I expand my range?

—Typecast, San Francisco, CA

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Advice for Dancers
Resistance training that strengthens your quads can help improve your jumps. Thinkstock

Why can't I jump as high as my male partner? We both have to perform the same series of jetés in a workshop performance and practicing isn't helping. I'm starting to panic.

—Amy, Cincinnati, OH

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Advice for Dancers
People with high arches often have a shallower plié due to the structure of their feet. Photo by Bruno Horwath/Unsplash

While I'm lucky to have a high arch, my demi-plié stinks. I keep getting the same correction to make it deeper. Any ideas?

—Foot Challenged, Winston-Salem, NC

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Advice for Dancers
Too much betacarotene can lead to a yellow-orange pigmentation on your skin. Photo by Stock Snap

My doctor sent me to a hormone specialist to be checked out for a possible metabolic disorder after a series of unexplained fractures. When my blood tests came back, I wasn't prepared to hear that the problem was due to my super-healthy diet (I eat a lot of raw carrots). Once she saw that the bottoms of my feet are orange-colored, she said, "That's the problem!" How can that be?

—Carrot Withdrawal, San Diego, CA

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Advice for Dancers
Sprained ankles that won't heal often indicate a misdiagnosed or overlooked underlying problem. Thinkstock

It's been a year since I sprained my ankle and it continues to hurt, even with physical therapy. I've had to skip class, and I worry that my injury could ruin any chance of landing a job when I start auditioning. It hurts the most when I do grand pliés. Is there something wrong with me?

—Lame Broadway Dancer, New York, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Perfectionism can make dancing a burden rather than a joy. Thinkstock

I had a two-month injury and thought it would make me miserable. Instead, I'm experiencing a huge wave of relief at being out. Should I feel guilty about not missing dance? I still love it but hate never feeling good enough.

—Injured Perfectionist, Fort Lauderdale, FL

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Advice for Dancers
It's common for therapists to advise patients with eating disorders to distance themselves from people with similar struggles. Photo by Unsplash.

My best friend confessed that she's been avoiding me because of my eating disorder. She's scared of triggering her own eating issues that she's coming to grips with in psychotherapy. I feel horrible about getting so caught up in my problems that I didn't see what it was doing to her. While I'm glad we spoke about it (and I've made an appointment to get professional help, too), the awkwardness hasn't completely disappeared.

—Katherine, Boston, MA

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Advice for Dancers
Ignoring hip pain could lead to arthritis or a hip replacement. Photo by Thinkstock

My hips have hurt for the past year. At first, the physical therapist told me it had to do with gripping my turnout. Later, the doctor said I'd torn the labrum in both hips. Rehab now focuses on turning in to heal my labra naturally and controlling my hypermobility to keep from gripping or letting my thigh bone slip partially out of the socket. It's helped a lot, but my right hip still hurts. Is this pain my destiny?

—Caitlyn, Cincinnati, OH

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Advice for Dancers
Nowadays, landing a trainee contract is a usual step toward a full company contract. Photo by Kyle Broad/Unsplash

I feel like a loser after auditioning for a ballet company. Instead of a job, I landed a position in their trainee program. I refused it and switched to a school with a Limón curriculum, which doesn't do it for me. Now what?

—Failure, New York, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Numerous ballet dancers have completed their degrees while performing professionally. Photo by MD Duran/Unsplash.

My parents are worried that dancing professionally will interfere with my education, even though I have friends who dance and take college courses. I can't go to a university the usual way when I'm trying to make it in contemporary ballet. Can you help me explain my situation to them?

—Lauren, Miami, FL

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Advice for Dancers
When recovering from injury, walking too much in a boot may result in a bone bruise. Photo by Jeffrey Wegrzyn on Unsplash.

How could I get a bone bruise from wearing a boot for a stress fracture in my fifth metatarsal? It's taking forever to go away, and I can't dance full-out. Help!

—Anonymous, New York, NY

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Advice for Dancers
Can you find harmony when your romantic partner is also your dance partner? Thinkstock.

I found a great boyfriend in my ballet company. I love how he understands my life as a professional dancer. The problem is we've started fighting whenever one of us gives the other a correction during partnering. Is dating him a bad idea?

—Lovesick, Toronto, Ontario

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Advice for Dancers
Allergies got you down? Allergy sufferers are twice as likely to be depressed as those who are allergy-free. Thinkstock.

I'm typically an upbeat person until my allergies kick in during the spring. Then I feel really down. What can I do to keep this from happening? An allergic reaction shouldn't affect my ability to enjoy dancing, should it?

—Katie, Princeton, NJ

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