Be Nice to Yourself

It's no secret that dancers can be perfectionists, and when you're working through the nuances of a demanding new role or juggling an above-average busy schedule, that type of self-discipline and attention to detail has its benefits. 

But there's also such a thing as being too hard on yourself, and research published in the journal Health Psychology found that practicing self-compassion, and accepting yourself without judgment even in negative situations, is linked to better overall health behaviors.

The analysis evaluated 15 studies which involved over 3,000 people. Researchers found that people who were kinder to themselves were more likely to eat healthier, exercise more, sleep better and be less stressed. The thought is that self-compassion may actually be more effective than self-criticism at helping us stick with healthy habits, because it leads to fewer negative, discouraging feelings.

Sometimes we're our own biggest critics. But the next time you make a mistake in a performance or stumble over a combination in class, remember that we can all benefit from easing up on ourselves once in a while. It doesn't mean you're not holding yourself to high standards—but it may mean you're cultivating a healthier lifestyle that will help your dancing in the long run.

Latest Posts

Getty Images

Class of 2020, These Ballet Stars Have a Heartfelt Video Message Just for You

Congratulations to this year's graduating seniors!

You might not have had the chance to take that long planned-for final bow, but we're here to cheer you on and celebrate all that you've accomplished. And we've brought together stars from across the ballet world to help us; check out the video to hear their best wishes for your futures.

To further fête all of the ballet grads out there, we're also giving away 100 free subscriptions to Pointe... plus, one lucky bunhead will receive a personalized message from one of ballet's biggest stars. Click here to enter!

Courtesy Boylston

Is the #EsmeraldaChallenge Quarantine's Next Big Thing?

By this point in the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, people are completely burned out on dancing at home. So it's no surprise that last week, all-around dance superstar Alex Wong posted a video on Instagram performing the famous La Esmeralda variation... but in his living room. And with a frying pan instead of a tambourine.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Tulsa Ballet in Ma Cong's Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Kate Luber Photography, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet.

Updated: Mark Your Calendars for These Online Ballet Performances

Updated on 5/27/2020

Since COVID-19 has forced ballet companies around the world to cancel performances—and even the remainder of their seasons—many are keeping their audiences engaged by streaming or posting pre-recorded performances onto their websites or social media channels. To help keep you inspired during these challenging times, we've put together a list of upcoming streaming events and digital performances.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks