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 advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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