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.


Francisco Estevez, Courtesy Colorado Ballet Academy

When you're looking for a ballet program to take you to the next level, there are a lot of factors to consider. While it's tempting to look for the biggest name that will accept you, the savvy dancer knows that successful training has more to do with the attention and opportunities you'll get.

We put together a few of the most important things for dancers to look for in a summer or year-round training program, with the help of the experts at Colorado Ballet Academy:

Keep reading... Show less
Everything Nutcracker
Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz as the Sugar Plum Fairy during a stage rehearsal for George Balanchine's Nutcracker. All photography by Arian Molina Soca.

For many professional ballet dancers, Nutcracker means weeks of performances. That usually translates to multiple casts—and important breakout opportunities for those in the junior ranks. On the afternoon of December 13, Pennsylvania Ballet demi-soloist Thays Golz made her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy along with her Cavalier, corps member Austin Eylar. For the Brazilian-born dancer, who joined PAB in 2018 after two seasons at Houston Ballet, Sugar Plum marks one of her first principal roles.

"I'm really excited," says Golz. PAB artistic director Angel Corella appointed 12 casts of Sugar Plum Fairies over the run's 29 performances. "When I first found out, I was like, 'Pinch me!' I still can't believe it."

We caught up with Golz just before her debut to see how she prepared for her big break.

Keep reading... Show less
Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy US Prix de Ballet

The US Prix de Ballet is taking an unconventional approach to the ballet competition—by putting the competitors' health first. After a successful first year in 2018, the Prix is returning to San Diego, CA this February with an even more comprehensive lineup of wellness workshops and master classes, in addition, of course, to the high-level competition.

Though the talent is top-notch, the environment is friendly, says HARID Conservatory faculty member Victoria Schneider, who serves on US Prix de Ballet's elite panel of judges. "The wellbeing of the dancer is the main focus," says Schneider, who awarded three scholarships to HARID at last year's competition.

US Prix de Ballet was born after its founders traveled to the Japan Grand Prix International Ballet Competition in 2016. "The company ran every aspect of the competition with professionalism, dignity, honor and precision," says founder Neisha Hernandez. "We knew we wanted this level of experience for America."

Keep reading... Show less