I feel like I've lost my love of dance. I dread going to class and rehearsal and I think my director is starting to notice. Does this mean it's time to quit? —Payton

We all go through rough patches. But quitting entirely is a big decision—and one you shouldn't make without getting to the bottom of why you're feeling so uninspired. I had three periods over the course of my career when I considered giving up. I was able to work through them, but it took a lot of soul searching.


Start by assessing your work environment. Do you like the repertoire you're performing and the person you're working for? Do you feel challenged enough? Being underutilized or pigeonholed in the same roles over and over again can be a serious motivation killer. But so can feeling overly comfortable. You may want to talk to your director (schedule a one-on-one meeting) about how you're feeling. Or, consider making a change—a new company environment may be just what you need to rejuvenate your enthusiasm.

Or, maybe there's a larger issue at play. Losing interest or pleasure in activities you once loved can be a sign of depression. I know from experience—in the months after my father died, it took every ounce of willpower to get myself into ballet class. But you don't need to undergo a tragic event to develop depression. If you've been experiencing feelings of hopelessness and anxiety in your daily life, you may want to seek counseling to help understand why.

It's also possible that your priorities have simply changed. A dance career requires an enormous amount of sacrifice and commitment; it's easy to resent ballet if you're restless to experience other things. It may be time to move on—and there's nothing wrong with that.

Click here to send your questions to Amy. She may answer one in an upcoming issue!

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Site Network
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov has been hired as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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Ballet Stars
Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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