Matthew Henry via Burst

Had a Bad Class? Here's Why You Shouldn't Blame Yourself

As a dancer, you're taught to carefully listen to your body so you can notice the early signs of injury and recognize when it's a bad idea to push through the pain. But paying attention to your thoughts and attitude is equally important to your well-being, and according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it may play a role in injury prevention.

Swedish researchers spent a year following elite athletes through their rigorous training schedules, and monitored how many of them suffered from injuries. The results showed that athletes who were hard on themselves when they had a bad day were the most likely to get injured, regardless of the severity of their schedules. The idea is that when you're blaming yourself for not doing your best work, you're more likely to push through any pain or discomfort you may be feeling, even when you risk getting injured.

Next time you're feeling sluggish at the barre during your morning class, or struggling with a combination that's usually no problem, try not to beat yourself up about it. Of course, it's important to challenge yourself, but everyone has an off day sometimes. Learning to accept that and act accordingly will make you a better, healthier dancer in the long run.

Latest Posts


Getty Images

What's Ahead for Ballet Companies in the Age of COVID-19?

Let's be frank: No one knows what's ahead for the performing arts in the U.S. With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of nearly a year of performances so far, including many Nutcrackers, ballet companies face a daunting path ahead with no roadmap for how to survive. While schools can offer classes online or in small groups, what does the future hold for companies when it's not safe to gather large audiences or corps de ballet?

"We are in for a very hard set of months," says Michael M. Kaiser, chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. "Nothing will change until there's a vaccine."

Pointe set out to find out what the new normal looks like while the virus is with us.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Sylvie Guillem and Éric Vu-An in "Mouvement, Rythme, Étude" (1985)

Sylvie Guillem and Éric Vu-An, two former leading dancers with the Paris Opéra Ballet, were both muses to Maurice Béjart. The boundary-pushing choreographer created several roles for each of them throughout their careers, including the 1985 duet "Mouvement, Rythme, Étude," when Guillem was just 20-years old and Vu-An just 21. In this excerpt from the ballet, the pair juxtapose technical brilliance and finesse with Béjart's playfully absurd post-modern movement.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Christopher Duggan, Courtesy Boston Ballet

Tips for Fitting into a Company Setting When You’re in the Junior Ranks

Landing a spot as a second company member or trainee is thrilling—your dream is starting to come true! While you'll still be training intensely, you'll also have opportunities to perform in company productions and take company class. But the newness of professional life can also be nerve-racking. To learn the ropes quickly, you'll need to know what will be expected of you, both in the studio and in your interactions with other dancers and staff. A few simple tips can keep you from making common missteps.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks