Advice for Dancers

By Hamilton, Linda | Dance Magazine, March 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Advice for Dancers

Hamilton, Linda, Dance Magazine

I'm coming back from an injury, and everyone is mad at me, from my ballet master to the other dancers, because I can't perform my old roles yet. I understand that they're tired and resent filling in for me, but my body just isn't ready. One day my knee feels fine and I can do every step in company class. The next day it's sore and I have to back off it. My doctor says that minor setbacks are normal after surgery. Why doesn't the company understand that?

Off-Stage Blues

Pittsburgh, PA

If you're dancing full out in class one day, it's easy for others to assume that you're ready to perform, unless you keep everyone in the loop about your injury status. At New York City Ballet, injured dancers have the option of asking the physical therapist or orthopedist to complete an Injury Reentry Form for the artistic staff:. This reduces misunderstandings by stating what the dancer can do, which helps the artistic staff to handle the casting. Over time, the form is updated. Needless to say, it also takes pressure off the dancer to constantly explain why she isn't ready to perform. Schools or companies that want to use this form can find it in our new book, The Dancer's Way: The New York City Ballet Guide to Mind, Body, and Nutrition (St. Martin's Griffin, $16.95).

hate my teacher! She makes fun of us if we ask questions and refuses to explain why we're doing something wrong. Our whole class is counting the days until the semester is over. Is there something we did to make her behave this way?


San Francisco, CA

Sometimes a student misbehaves in class and a teacher gets fed up. The red flag, in this case, is that aft the students are feeling mistreated. It suggests that the tension is coming from the teacher's issues, not yours. While asking questions in class can be disruptive, usually it's a plus to want more information to improve. Most teachers will acknowledge a question's merit and deal with it then or after class. Refusing to explain a correction or resorting to ridicule could be a sign of stress. Your teacher may be overworked, for instance. My advice is to meet as a group with the director of your school to explain your concerns.

I know it's silly, but I'm jealous. My director has his favorites whom he uses all the time. I'm a ballerina who gets nice roles but not a lot of attention from my boss. Should I mind? From the outside looking in, my life must seem great. The downer is that I'm rarely in the first cast, let alone the one he chooses when he choreographs a new piece.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Advice for Dancers


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?