How One Dancer Found a Healthier Relationship to Dance
Do you feel like your obsession with dance has gone too far? You're not alone. Many dancers find themselves laser focused on dance to an unhealthy degree. But that doesn't mean you won't ever be able to find a more balanced life.
Ballet Hispánico dancer Christopher Bloom is a great example. When he started training seriously at age 15, he put every ounce of concentration into dance. In many ways, it served his swift improvement. But an overly obsessive tendency emerged: "When I went on vacation for a week when I was 17, I was so antsy and upset," he admits. "I thought I'd lose everything."
Once he started dancing professionally, he maintained this approach, working on 20 different projects in two years. He assumed his life would calm down significantly when he nabbed his spot with Ballet Hispánico in 2013.
Bloom in rehearsal. Photo by Paula Lobo, courtesy Ballet Hispanico
But it actually took a few years to find that balance. "Gradually my girlfriend started asking if I could focus on something else," Bloom admits. "We broke up for a while. Much of it had to do with how much my obsession was dragging me down. It took a lot of work—journaling, therapy, seeking advice."
Now, he's realized that his body is happiest when he dances just five days a week. He enjoys time with his now-fiancée, reading, hiking and visiting the gym, which serves as a meditative stress-reliever.
"As an artist, it's my responsibility to experience the wider world—and then bring that to the stage," he says. "If you have no life outside the studio, how can you portray a person of broad experience?"
When the news broke that Prince George, currently third in line for the British throne, would be continuing ballet classes as part of his school curriculum this year, we were as excited as anyone. (Okay, maybe more excited.)
This was not, it seems, a sentiment shared by "Good Morning America" host Lara Spencer.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
If you're seeking an extra dash of inspiration to start the new season on the right—dare we say—foot, look no further than dance documentaries.
Starting August 23, OVID, a streaming service dedicated to docs and art-house films, is adding eight notable dance documentaries to its library. The best part? There's a free seven-day trail. (After that, subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.)
From the glamour of Russian ballet stars to young dancers training in Cuba to a portrait of powerhouse couple Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, here's what's coming to a couch near you: