a female dancer wearing a grey skirt performing a handstand with her arms and legs slightly bent

How Depression Affects Dancers and When to Seek Help

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.”

When You Need to Take Time Off for Your Mental Health

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, […]

Op-Ed: Please Stop Weighing Dancers

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 […]

What Does It Take to Create a Healthy Working Environment for Dancers?

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 […]

5 Ways to Cope With Triggering News About Sexual Abuse in the Dance World

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 […]

3 Tactile Self-Care Techniques to Help Manage Difficult Emotions

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 […]

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