My friends often want to go out after rehearsals or performances. I want to be social, but it gets pricey, and the late nights and eating out don't make me feel my best the next day. How can I find balance? —Liz


It's easy to feel like a stick-in-the-mud when your friends want to go out and you just want to go home and ice. But there's nothing wrong with saying "no" if it negatively affects your performance and your bank account. (That's actually called being responsible.) If your friends give you a hard time, let them know that it's nothing personal, but that you need to save your energy for performing. Maybe you simply reserve social nights for when you have the following day off.

Planning a social night in can

give you time for R&R while

you bond with your fellow dancers.

You could also try planning an evening so you have more say in how late you stay out and how much you spend. Suggest going to an inexpensive restaurant, or invite them to your apartment. Case in point: Once when I was on tour, a good friend was juggling a stressful load of principal roles. She maintained an almost monk-like routine after work: ordering room service, sewing pointe shoes, taking a bath and icing her feet. To avoid feeling too antisocial, she'd invite some of us to her hotel room for an hour or two—and then kick us out so that she could be in bed by 10 pm. We appreciated the effort, and I'm sure your friends will, too.

Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at askamy@dancemedia.com.

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