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

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Studio Bleu students Jaxon Keller, Samantha Halker and Alia Wiggins. Photos by Chris Stark

How Turning Boards and Practice Mats Can Revolutionize Your Dance Training

When it comes to equipment, dancers don't need much—just shoes and whatever can fit in their dance bag. But between rehearsals in the studio and performances on stage, one major piece of equipment often goes overlooked—the floor.

Dancers too often find themselves warming up on the concrete or carpet backstage, or wanting to practice in a location without a proper floor. For years, Harlequin Floors has offered a solution to this problem with its innovative turning board, offering a portable and personal floor that can be flipped between marley and wood. Now, they've revolutionized portability again with their practice mat, offering dancers the option to roll up their own personal floor and sling it over their shoulders like a yoga mat.

We spoke with experts from every corner of the dance industry to see how Harlequin's products have become their everyday essentials: