Tag: mental health

What the Dance World Can Learn From Simone Biles and Team USA

In the heat of the women’s team gymnastics final, a shaken Simone Biles withdrew from the Olympic event last week to protect herself and her teammates. Her courageous decision to prioritize her health was met with overwhelming support, including from former U.S. Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug, who competed through extreme injury at the 1996 Olympic […]

The Look-Back Trap: How Dancers Can Cope with Fears of Falling Behind

In February 2020, the Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker–choreographed production of West Side Story opened on Broadway. And in March, the world shut down. “The first email said we’d be back in two weeks. Then it was the end of the month. Then it was by the beginning of summer. Then it was the fall,” recalls […]

The Dancer’s Guide to Getting Through the Holidays

“The disappointment hits in waves,” Calista Jones says of this year’s canceled production of The Nutcracker. A high school senior who performs with the Appalachian Ballet Company in Maryville, TN, Jones was excited to be cast in soloist roles this year: the Raggedy Ann doll in the party scene, as well as the lead Russian […]

All the Feels: How to Give Yourself Space to Deal With Hard Emotions

Have you ever smiled through a show even though your heart wasn’t in it, or put on your game face in class despite feeling tired or out of sorts? Dancers are performers, and performing positivity is a skill that can get you through tough moments without anyone knowing you’re upset. But that doesn’t mean it’s […]

Taja Riley: On Her Own Terms

Everyone has a Taja Riley story. Janet Jackson has a Taja story. (When Taja was just 17 and was hired to perform alongside her, Janet Jackson picked Taja up in a limo and they spent a day—seven hours, to be exact—together at a hair salon.) Rihanna has a Taja story. (She hand-selected Taja for her […]

Real Talk About How Body Dysmorphia Affects Dancers

Though candid conversations about eating disorders are (thankfully) becoming more common in the dance world, one struggle continues to plague dancers at an alarming rate: Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). In an industry centered on physical appearance, BDD—more commonly known as body dysmorphia—can sometimes feel hard to avoid. But there’s hope, and help, for those in […]

Yes, It's OK to Take a Break from Dancing Right Now

When the world began isolating as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dance community sprang into action. Social media was flooded with virtual classes, and at any given moment you could easily find a dozen free options on Instagram. But the novelty of our Zoom-based reality is beginning to wear off—and dancers are feeling […]