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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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials:

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