The Perfect Recipe for Burnout
After getting promoted, I threw myself into nonstop dance classes, cross-training and rehearsals during breaks. I thought it would help me get stronger, but now I'm exhausted and unable to enjoy dance. Where did I go wrong?
—Broken Spirit, San Francisco, CA
It sounds like your promotion triggered an excessive drive to excel, but you're not allowing sufficient time to rest and recover. This is a recipe for burnout. If you continue this rigorous schedule, you may also find that your technique declines and that you're more likely to get injured. What can you do? While denial is the major coping mechanism for overachievers who develop burnout, you've taken a positive step by writing to me and acknowledging that you aren't superhuman. Easing up on your regimen can help you rebuild your personal resources. I also recommend that you make time for activities that have no purpose other than your enjoyment, spend time with friends, and ask for help when you need it. Take several 15-minute breaks throughout the day. Not only will your body thank you, but you'll rekindle your flame to perform.
Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at email@example.com.
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.