In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

By nature, I'm incredibly self-critical. I'm hard enough on myself that my dance teachers have even told me to lighten up a little. But that kind of self-criticism is also what makes me a better dancer. How can I learn to be less hard on myself while continuing to improve?

Charlotte

Dear Charlotte,

So many dancers critique themselves obsessively. But remember that there's no such thing as "perfect" in dance. It's not the Olympics; you're not trying to beat your previous time. You'll always have tomorrow to keep working, and the next day, and the next. You'll never have an impeccable performance, and that's OK. The pursuit of impossible perfection is what keeps us coming back to the studio.

Be aware of your weaknesses, but don't let them rule your mind. At the end of every class, ask yourself, "What did I do well today?" and "What do I need to work on tomorrow?" That way, you can feel good about your accomplishments while remaining aware of the steps you need to take to improve.


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