Forum: Advice / Support

Burning Out
By elise514
On Sat Nov 25, 2017 09:43 PM

I'm a junior in high school. I just moved from California to Vermont. I've been dancing since I was three. It's basically all that I do; all I've ever done. I honestly don't know who I am without dance. However, for the past month or so, I've been feeling completely unmotivated to dance. I dread going to class. All to frequently, I sit at Starbucks, or even in my car, instead of going to class.

My old studio in California was a contemporary/jazz based competition studio. There were definitely things I wish were different. I found myself complaining frequently about the lack of serious technique training. My studio now is much more ballet/modern based with very little performance. The training is definitely better and I know that my technique will improve here, but I feel like I'm burning out.

I've always thought I would be a professional dancer, but I'm starting to second guess that. Now, looking at colleges, I feel completely and utterly lost. I'm questioning if I want to pursue dance further after high school. I feel like stopping now, or even doing it recreationally, would be such a waste of my time and my parents time and money. I feel so guilty for thinking about quitting when my parents have spent to much to send me to rehearsals, conventions, intensives, etc, but the thought of going to class is bringing me to tears.

I just had a week off of dance for Thanksgiving, and I was hoping that this break would rejuvenate me and make me excited to dance again, but with class tomorrow, I feel that dread come back just a strong as before. I don't know what to do.

1 Replies to Burning Out

re: Burning Out
By CinderEmma
On Sat Dec 09, 2017 05:52 AM
Edited by CinderEmma (277630) on 2017-12-09 05:56:41 spelling and grammar
Edited by CinderEmma (277630) on 2017-12-09 06:02:06 spelling and grammar
Edited by CinderEmma (277630) on 2017-12-09 06:06:11 Rewriting paragraph
Don't feel bad about not becoming a professional dancer. You can join the millions of perfectly exceptional dancers who never made it either as professionals. It sounds like the pressure of becoming a professional and the realization that the odds are stacked so high against your favor is probably one of the major reasons you are so burned out...most of your energy is going to dealing with this stress as opposed to your dance.

To be a professional, one must pretty much begin dancing as a toddler (you can already check this one off since you started at age three), and continue dancing throughout years of training, dance schools and vigorous RAD exams. Her (or his) body must be willing to cooperate with the brutal demands placed upon it, and several classes must be taken EVERY day. Several thousands of dollars must be shelled out for private lessons and material necessities, and the opportunities must also be available in the area. And then don't get me started on the competition! And that's all just to earn a fighting shot at a professional career; even then the odds are against everyone.

I'm not saying that you should give up on being a dancer, just that maybe your goals might be a little too high. You might be fighting a battle that most dancers end up losing. And if your talent through RAD exams hasn't been recognized be now, I'm sad to say that it might be a little too late for you to be a professional. But most dancers aren't professionals anyways and they still happily bloom in the numeruous dance opportunities the world has to offer. Pursuing that in itself doesn't sound like a waste of your parents money or time, does it?

My suggestion to you is to try and pinpoint where your dread is coming from. You say you love to dance so the dancing itself is probably not the issue. So what else could it be? Are you stiving to meet your own expectations or could you possibly be trying to meet your parents' expectations? Is the skill level of your classes too high or too low compared to your own skill level? Are you having problems with your teachers or some of the other dancers? Are your teachers really enthusiastic during class or are they boring and lukewarm? You did mention a little unhappiness concerning a lack of serious training in your earlier classes, as well as your current classes' more modern-based structure and limited performance opportunities.

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