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Injured? How to Avoid the Self-Blame Spiral

Dealing with a dance injury? Dr. Brian Goonan, a Houston-based psychologist who works with dancers, gives advice on refocusing your emotions when you're on the road to recovery.


Reflection over criticism

It's normal for dancers to slip into a spiral of "shoulda-woulda-coulda" after an injury. "You don't want it to happen again, so you're trying to figure out how it happened the first time," Goonan says. The injury may have exposed a bad habit or mistake. Take an honest look at where you can improve, but try not to let it veer into self-criticism.

Learn by observation

Ask yourself: "What can I observe when I'm not under pressure to perform?" View your time on the sidelines as an opportunity to glean a rare perspective from class or rehearsal.

Rebuild trust

When you return to dancing, recognize that you may not fully trust your body. "Give yourself permission to gradually regain your strength," says Goonan.

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Dancers at work in USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's facilities. Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Meet 5 Recent USC Kaufman Grads Making Waves in the Dance Industry

Since welcoming its first freshman BFA class in 2015, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has made a name for itself. The Los Angeles dance program is known for creating versatile artists in a collaborative, innovative training environment, and its alumni are already making bold professional leaps.

Dance Magazine caught up with five recent grads to see where they've landed and how USC Kaufman and its career services department prepared them for their future in the dance industry.

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July 2021