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How to Find a Psychologist Who Can Help Improve Your Performance

How do I know when I've found a good psychologist for peak performance? I've tried therapy with referrals from my insurance, but they knew nothing about dance. I also worked with someone who specialized in sports. Again, it wasn't a good match, since she didn't understand the movements from ballet that I'm trying to improve. What are my options?

—Lily, Summit, NJ



When your goal in therapy is to become a stronger performer, you need a mental health professional who understands dance vocabulary and is aware of possible impediments, such as hypermobility or lack of stage experience. The right psychologist will help you address the physical and/or psychological factors that are negatively affecting your performance, and they'll equip you with insight and strategies to apply to the stage.

To find licensed clinical or counseling psychologists in your area, contact your state psychological association (see apa.org) or local dance schools and companies. It's perfectly fine to call a psychologist's office and ask about their experience with dancers. Personal rapport is a crucial part of establishing a therapeutic relationship; setting up an initial visit is a good way to see if you feel comfortable working together.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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