I Was Fired. Why?

After working till exhaustion apprenticing at my dance school's company plus taking regular student classes,
I (and a few others) received an email from the school director dismissing us without any explanation. I've tried to schedule a meeting with her but haven't received a reply. Does this mean I'm not talented and should quit ballet?

—Devastated Dancer, Brooklyn, NY


I'm sorry that you've been left in limbo. Everyone deserves an explanation when they're let go. Otherwise, it's easy to jump to conclusions or blame yourself. The director simply may need to give other students a chance to apprentice. She might also have a policy about not meeting with dancers who are dismissed, given her workload. Still, her behavior shows little empathy. But this doesn't mean you lack talent and need to quit ballet. My advice is to find another school where the faculty cares about its dancers' feelings.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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"Dancers are less comfortable with stillness and change than most," says TaraMarie Perri, founder and director of Perri Institute for Mind and Body and Mind Body Dancer. "Through daily discipline, we are trained to move through space and are attracted to forward momentum. Simply put, dancers are far more comfortable when they have a sense of control over the movements and when life is 'in action.' "

To regain that sense of control, and soothe some of the anxiety most of us are feeling right now, it helps to do what we know best: Get back into our bodies. Certain movements and shapes can help ground us, calm our nervous system and bring us into the present.

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