Advice for Dancers

I Don't Miss Dance. Should I Feel Guilty?

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

There's no need to feel guilty. Being injured can open your eyes to a world apart from dance if you allow yourself to explore different aspects of life while rehabilitating. Learning to cope with your injury now may also prepare you to deal with later stresses once you heal and return to performing.

Perfectionism is an inborn trait that makes it difficult to handle the daily hassles of work. This mind-set can make dancing a burden rather than a joy. There's also the frustration of never hitting your goal of perfection, which leads to self-doubt. But you can break the cycle of stress. Apart from engaging in other meaningful activities that you enjoy, yoga, meditation and psychotherapy can all be helpful. Remember: Perfection is an ideal, not a reality

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at

The Conversation
Career Advice
Pacific Northwest Ballet principals Rachel Foster and Jonathan Porretta took their final curtain call on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lindsay Thomas, Courtesy PNB

We all know dance careers are temporary. But this season, it feels like we're saying goodbye to more stars than usual.

Many have turned to social media to share their last curtain calls, thoughts on what it feels like to say farewell to performing, and insights into the ways that dancing has made them who they are. After years of dedicating your life to the studio and stage, the decision to stop dancing is always an emotional one. Each dancer handles it in their own way—whether that means cheekily admitting to having an existential crisis, or simply leaving with no regrets about what you did for love.

We will miss these dancers' performances, but can't wait to see what awaits each in their next chapters.

Keep reading... Show less
A previous lab cycle. Photo by Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade, Courtesy RRR Creative

Choreographic incubator Broadway Dance Lab has recently been rechristened Dance Lab New York. "I found the nomenclature of 'Broadway' was actually a type of glass ceiling to the organization," says choreographer Josh Prince, who founded the nonprofit in 2012.

Keep reading... Show less


Get Dance Magazine in your inbox