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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.

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

Best wishes,

Amy

Bethany Kirby, Courtesy Tulsa Ballet

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