Picking the most accomplished dancers to measure yourself against is a surefire way to lower your confidence. Getty Images.

Rethink Your Competition: Tips for Being Inspired—Not Discouraged—by Other Dancers

Company class triggers my biggest doubts when I compare myself to leading dancers with fantastic feet or extensions. Why can't I be more like them? I work just as hard, but I can't seem to do it.

—Katy, San Francisco, CA


All dancers are different. You're always going to find someone who can do something you can't. In your case, picking the most accomplished dancers to measure yourself against is unfair and a surefire way to lower your confidence.

Instead, keep the focus on your own dancing by setting goals that enhance your technical strengths and address your weaknesses. That doesn't mean you should ignore the stars at your company. They can serve as inspiration for more nuanced approaches to phrasing, artistry and professionalism. Just keep in mind that they were once in your shoes.

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


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Get More Out of Your Dance Degree—Whether You're on Campus or Not

When Rose Conroy-Voza entered Rider University in 2016, she thought all she needed to focus on was her dance classes. But the 2020 graduate found herself cherishing experiences outside of the studio—memberships in upwards of 10 clubs, an on-campus job and meaningful connections with her professors. "As I was introduced to all these different opportunities," she says, "I realized that there is so much more that dancers could have."

Just because you got into a great dance program does not mean you are getting everything you possibly can out of your college education. Whether you're online or on campus this semester, there's an abundance of resources available. All you need to do is figure out how best to take advantage of them.

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