Daylin Williams, who dances with Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company’s second company, Wasatch II, and teaches dance at Cedar Valley High School in Utah, has struggled with depression since age 13. Dealing with mental illness while pursuing a dance career has presented unique challenges. “There have been days where I was in rehearsal and I had to leave the room and go cry in a changing room,” she says, “because I felt overwhelmed and was struggling with medication changes.”
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: This is still a difficult time. We talked to three dance pros about how they’re coping, and asked a dance psychologist for her best tips.
Taking proactive measures to care for your mental health is especially important during the college years, when young adults are often going through a slew of transitions.
In the dance world, most companies and training programs have resources to support injured dancers. However, the same standards are not always in place for dancers who need time off for mental health reasons. “It’s hard enough to take time away for a physical injury,” says former Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer Casey Pentrack. In 2016, […]
On what began as an ordinary day in early fall, I and the other dancers in my pre-professional ballet program were told that we were going to be measured by the costume shop in anticipation of our upcoming Nutcracker performances with the company. We were lined up in a hallway that led to the open […]
If you’re an early-career choreographer, your needs are likely many and your resources few. There’s rehearsal space to rent, dancers to gather, schedules to align—and that’s not including the all-important creative labor of making the dance itself. But setting up a supportive working environment where dancers feel safe is a piece of the puzzle that […]
Survivors of sexual assault and harassment are pulling back the curtain on a pernicious problem in the dance world. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, several have come forward in the past few years to share their stories. Now, there are two major cases in the mainstream news: In a federal lawsuit filed September […]
Most of the popular self-care practices we think of are passive: meditation, taking a bath, zoning out watching Netflix. But according to psychotherapist and former Royal Ballet dancer Terry Hyde, a more active, tactile approach can feel more natural for dancers. “What you see in rehearsals is a lot of dancers hugging and holding each […]