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Sidelined by Injury? Try This Tip to Put Your Recovery in Perspective

I thought I'd be fine after undergoing successful surgery to repair a torn ankle ligament. Instead, I'm depressed and hopeless that I'm still not able to perform. My therapist tells me I'm making good progress, but I don't see it. Why not?

—Ashley, San Francisco, CA


You've fallen into a common trap—comparing your dancing to how you performed before the injury. That's unrealistic, given the circumstances. Your new baseline needs to be how you feel now after surgery and rehab. My advice is to keep a monthly pain diary, documenting what you can do, your current limitations and your level of pain. You'll be surprised to discover how much you're accomplishing each month.

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

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Studio shots by Alinne Volpato

Jovani Furlan's Open-Hearted Dancing—And Personality—Lights Up New York City Ballet

Something magical happens when Jovani Furlan smiles at another dancer onstage. Whether it's a warm acknowledgment between sections of Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering or an infectious grin delivered in the midst of a puzzle box of a sequence in Justin Peck's Everywhere We Go, whoever is on the receiving end brightens.

"I could stare at him forever," says New York City Ballet principal Megan Fairchild. "He's just that kind of open spirit. He's not judging anything. It's like he's looking at you with his arms wide open and a big smile—even if he's not smiling, that's the energy he's giving you."

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