Susan Jaffe teaching at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Photo by Peter Mueller, Courtesy UNCSA.

How Can I Boost My Body Image?

Thanks to my nutritionist, I've started eating right. Now I desperately want to improve my negative body image. My friends tell me I look good, but I don't believe them. I obsess over every flaw and find class depressing. What should I do?

—Crappy Body Image, Hoboken, NJ


The best remedy is to shift your attention to what really matters: your dancing. Placement, musicality and technique will help you get a competitive edge, not body checking. Searching for imperfections in the mirror or comparing yourself to others will only reinforce a habit of negative self-appraisal. By focusing on factors that affect your performance, you'll have a much better class and your body image should improve. A cognitive-behavioral psychologist can also help. Check out The Renfrew Center's nationwide referral list for a specialist near you.

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

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Dancers at work in USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's facilities. Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

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July 2021