Getty Images

Ask Amy: I Didn't Get a Part I Wanted, and Have Been Rethinking My Career Choice Since

I recently didn't get a part I really wanted and have been rethinking my career choice since then. I just don't feel the same excitement about dance anymore. I don't know how to get it back or if—it feels horrible saying this—I should just quit.

—Gaby


I have felt this way at times when casting didn't go my way. I remember being passed over for the role of Polyhymnia in Balanchine's Apollo—I complained endlessly about it to my friends and grew very discouraged. But I got through it, and I had opportunities to dance other wonderful parts after that. Try not to hinge your entire future on one role, or let this setback destroy your love for dance. Casting disappointments are part and parcel of a dance career, so it's important to learn how to compartmentalize your emotions and take things less personally.

It's possible that you aren't quite right for this particular part; lots of people want to dance Juliet or Kitri, for example, but not everyone can convincingly play a teenage ingénue or a sassy spitfire. (Sometimes casting is simply a matter of height or temperament, not talent!) Even if you are well-suited for the role, your director may not think you're technically or emotionally ready for it yet. But that doesn't mean there aren't other parts you'd be perfect in right now.

Try to channel your negative feelings into motivation. Set small goals during class to help rebuild your confidence. Show your director what you can do by immersing yourself in your current role, no matter how small you think it is. You could also ask to learn the part you were hoping for in the back of the room—it's hard to brood when you're too busy dancing. But most of all, keep pushing forward; there will be more performances and other opportunities. If you still feel no interest in dance as the year progresses, it may be time to reassess your career choice.

Latest Posts


Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT

Defining and Refining Musicality: How to Tune In and Develop Your Artistic Voice

Ask a hundred people what musicality is, and you're likely to get a hundred different answers. "Musicality is where an artist's personality shines brightest," says Smuin Contemporary Ballet member Ben Needham-Wood. For American Ballet Theatre soloist Skylar Brandt, "it's what distinguishes one dancer from another. It helps me express myself more vividly and emotionally."

Teachers encourage it, directors seek it out and dancers who possess it bring choreography to life in compelling ways. But what exactly is musicality, and how can dancers get more of it?

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks