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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Topical Pain Relievers Are the Next Item on Your Dancer Self-Care Supply List

With the stressors of the pandemic still lingering more than one year later, self-care is, rightfully, a priority for everyone right now. But dancers have always known the importance of keeping their bodies and minds as healthy as possible. After all, your body is your instrument, and as we make our long-awaited returns to the studio and stage, finding self-care strategies that work for you will be crucial to getting back up to speed—mentally and physically—with your rigorous performing and training schedule.

Dancers have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to treating minor ailments like soreness, swelling and bruising. One that's quickly gaining popularity are topical pain relievers, which provide targeted, temporary relief of minor pain. These days, there's more than just your tried-and-true Tiger Balm on the shelves. From CBD lotions to warming gels and patches, finding the product that's right for you can be as difficult as finding the perfect Rockette-red shade of lipstick…but even more beneficial to your dance career.

Read on for our breakdown of some of the most common ingredients to look out for in the topical pain relief aisle.

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May 2021