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?"