Web Exclusive - Ask Amy

Two months ago, I fell at dress rehearsal, broke my fifth metatarsal and ended up having surgery. While I’m building strength in physical therapy so I can return to dance, I’m wondering how to keep myself strong emotionally during this setback. —Sarah
When you’re injured, it’s easy to fear that you’ll be left behind while everyone else moves ahead. But try to look at this time as an opportunity to slow down and reevaluate. When we’re dancing every day, we easily fall into habits (sometimes not very healthy ones), and we don’t always have the luxury to step back and think about how we’re approaching the process. When you’re injured and going to therapy, you suddenly have all the time in the world to reexamine technical basics—which will benefit your dancing enormously when you eventually return. Trust me—I spent nine months in physical therapy for a labral tear in my hip. It was long and slow—full of baby steps—and was, at times, incredibly frustrating. However, I needed that period to completely reset my alignment (to correct years of compensating) and strengthen weak core muscles. I learned so much about my body’s idiosyncrasies and needs during my recovery. Now, my hip rarely hurts anymore, and I have a greater understanding of turnout, alignment and proper maintenance.

You can also think of this as a perfect opportunity to cultivate other interests besides dance. Let’s face it—an injury is a glaring reminder of how delicate and short our performing careers really are. Delve into your hobbies to get your mind off your injury, or enroll in a class. Take up painting or photography, or crack open that novel you’ve been meaning to read for the last year. Try not to dwell on what you’re missing—you’ll recover eventually, and be a stronger dancer for it.


Latest Posts


Margo Moritz, Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

How Adult Students Can Prep for a Safe Return to the Studio

After a year (or more) of virtual classes, it's finally time to unplug and head back to the studio.

Exciting? Absolutely. A little scary? Definitely.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Feeling Unchallenged? Here’s How to Advocate for Advancement in Your Company

You're performing well year after year, but you're still not being cast in larger roles. Your work ethic and technique are strong, but, for some reason, your director hasn't approached you about advancing in the company. Many dancers face this very dilemma—they're ready for a new challenge, but featured roles or a promotion don't seem to be on the horizon.

When opportunity doesn't knock first, it may be time to approach the door and do some knocking of your own. "I've been having those conversations with my director since I joined, which is rare," says Amanda Morgan, a fifth-year corps de ballet dancer at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She believes directors are waiting for dancers to advocate for themselves. If you're wondering how you can be more proactive, here are a few questions to help prompt your preparation.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Katie Ging Photography, Courtesy Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh

Why This School Decided to Hold Its "Nutcracker" in June

A growing Christmas tree. Angels and mice. Flowers and a sugarplum. Snow. Last week, the curtain rose on a festive performance of The Nutcracker…in June?

The pandemic has brought all sorts of odd workarounds for dance studios, from virtual classes to outdoor performances. But when COVID-19 threatened Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh's annual Nutcracker, the school decided to make an especially bold pivot: to hold it in early June, when most schools are doing their end-of-year summer recitals.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks