Rethink Your Competition: Tips for Being Inspired—Not Discouraged—by Other Dancers
Picking the most accomplished dancers to measure yourself against is a surefire way to lower your confidence. Getty Images.
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 email@example.com.
My best running buddy was on my left. To my right, a total stranger with whom I'd suddenly become competitive. As the 15-person group headed into a two-minute push, the instructor got hyped, and the remix blasting Rihanna's "We Found Love" transitioned to "Smooth Criminal."