Losing a dance company can be like losing part of your family. Photo by Thinkstock.

The Company I Danced in Closed. Now What?

My life is in complete chaos since my dance company disbanded. I have a day job, so money isn't the issue. It's the loss of my world that stings the most. What can I do?

—Lost Career, Washington, DC


Being a member of a dance company is like having a second family, so grief is a natural response to losing it. Give yourself time to adjust by acknowledging this difficulty, while staying close to family and dance friends.

Remember: Many dancers perform in more than one company, so try to think of this as a temporary setback while you network and audition for other gigs.

As you build new friendships outside of this group, keep your eyes open for opportunities to express your feelings in a creative way, whether it's through regular classes, a different dance company or a new hobby, such as photography. Connecting with other artists will help lessen the void caused by your company's closure.

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


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5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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