Dancers at an audition for Kyle Abraham, Brian Brooks, Kate Weare and Anna Sperber. Photo by Jim Lafferty.

Is It Time to Rethink Your Audition Approach?

In your wellness workshop at The Ailey School, you suggested that a way to attend a lot of auditions after graduation (without getting depressed) was to see each one as a free class. It worked. I can't remember how many jobs I've tried out for, but I managed to stay hopeful and finally landed a full-time position. Thank you!

—Grateful Dancer, Newark, NJ


Congratulations! It pays to stick with your goals and move forward despite the ups and downs that come with auditions. Research by psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania defines this characteristic as "grit," a mix of passion, perseverance and stamina that accounts for success in every profession. The key is to stay motivated. Seeing auditions as extra training (often at no cost) gels with your desire to progress without putting your self-esteem at risk.

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

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TaraMarie Perri in tree pose at Storm King Art Center. Photo by Sophie Kuller, Courtesy Perri

5 Self-Soothing Exercises You Can Do to Calm Your Anxiety

Physical stillness can be one of the hardest things to master in dance. But stillness in the bigger sense—like when your career and life are on hold—goes against every dancers' natural instincts.

"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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