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

Latest Posts

AMDA students learn how to present their best selves on camera. Photo by Trae Patton, Courtesy AMDA

AMDA's 4 Tips for Acing Your Next Audition

Ah, audition day. The flurry of new choreography, the long lines of dancers, the wait for callbacks. It's an environment dancers know well, but it can also come with great stress. Learning how to be best prepared for the big day is often the key to staying calm and performing to your fullest potential (and then some).

This concept is the throughline of the curriculum at American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where dance students spend all four years honing their audition skills.

"You're always auditioning," says Santana Trujillo, AMDA's dance outreach manager and a graduate of its BFA program. On campus in Los Angeles and New York City, students have access to dozens of audition opportunities every semester.

For advice on how dancers can put their best foot forward at professional auditions, Dance Magazine recently spoke with Trujillo, as well as AMDA faculty members Michelle Elkin and Genevieve Carson. Catch the whole conversation below, and read on for highlights.

July 2021