Magazine article Dance Magazine

Step Back, Move Forward

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Step Back, Move Forward

Article excerpt

Dancers can fall into a love/hate relationship with their job. This is the kind of field you get into for the passion, not the paycheck. But sometimes the extreme competition and pressure can overwhelm that initial spark that used to make you excited to get into the studio each day.

Kaitlyn Gilliland was one of those dancers. She retired from New York City Ballet in 2011, just a few years into a much-heralded career. Our cover feature details how she made her way back to the studio, transforming herself as an artist in the process. As she slowly began taking on freelance projects that appealed to her, with each, she learned to approach rehearsals more as a collaborative partner than a vessel for someone else's art. Today, she dances for more choreographers than almost anyone else in New York City.

Her story reminds us that it's worth taking a step back every once in a while to ask, What do I want to get out of this work? Am I taking on gigs and roles that fulfill me? …

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