Health & Body

Proof We Need to Talk about Dancers' Mental Health

Quinn Wharton

Is the dance world doing enough for dancers' mental health? Judging from the incredible reaction to Kathleen McGuire's recent story on the topic, it seems that the answer is a resounding "no."

Not only did the piece quickly become one of our most-read, readers shared it hundreds of times, and many reached out to us directly with their own stories. On Facebook, Twitter and through email, several people offered up suggestions for how the dance field could improve. We wanted to share some of the top comments we got—because it's obviously a conversation we all need to have.


Some of you offered smart suggestions:

Boston Ballet School has had a close relationship with a mental health professional for a several years now, in addition to a Nutritionist and Physical Therapist as part of their wellness team; services offered to families of the Boston Ballet School. Her article brings up a very important aspect of a dancer's training, and it should be known that institutions are recognizing this is so.

—Jennifer Markham, Faculty, Boston Ballet School

I had a career as a dancer, at the highest level and for many years have been a psychotherapist, so I too am trying rid the dance world of the mental health stigma. I have a blog, which can be reached via my website, counsellingfordancers.com.

Facebook: @counsellingfordancers
Twitter: @counselingdance

—Terry Hyde

Many related to Kathleen's story on a personal level:

Others pointed out how studio culture can be damaging:

And a few of you offered us hope for the future:

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