Quinn Wharton

Proof We Need to Talk about Dancers' Mental Health

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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Clockwise from top left: Photo by Loreto Jamlig, Courtesy Ladies of Hip-Hop; Wikimedia Commons; Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy Pennsylvania Ballet; Natasha Razina, Courtesy State Academic Mariinsky Theatre; Photo by Will Mayer for Better Half Productions, Courtesy ABT

The 10 Biggest Dance Stories of 2019

What were the dance moments that defined 2019? The stories that kept us talking, week after week? According to our top-clicked articles of the year, they ranged from explorations of dance medicine and dance history, takedowns of Lara Spencer and companies who still charge dancers to audition, and, of course, our list of expert tips on how to succeed in dance today.

We compiled our 10 biggest hits of the year, and broke down why we think they struck a chord:

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Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Nichols

I Am a Black Dancer Who Was Dressed Up in Blackface to Perform in La Bayadère

On Instagram this week, Misty Copeland reposted a picture of two Russian ballerinas covered head to toe in black, exposing the Bolshoi's practice of using blackface in the classical ballet La Bayadère. The post has already received over 60,000 likes and 2,000 comments, starting a long overdue conversation.

Comments have been pouring in from every angle imaginable: from history lessons on black face, to people outside of the ballet world expressing disbelief that this happens in 2019, to castigations of Copeland for exposing these young girls to the line of fire for what is ultimately the Bolshoi's costuming choice, to the accusations that the girls—no matter their cultural competence—should have known better.

I am a black dancer, and in 2003, when I was 11 years old, I was dressed up in blackface to perform in the Mariinsky Ballet's production of La Bayadère.

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Here's the First Trailer for the "In the Heights" Movie

Lights up on Washington Heights—because the trailer for the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights has arrived. It's our first look into Lin-Manuel Miranda's latest venture into film—because LMM isn't stopping at three Tony awards, a Grammy award, and an Emmy.

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