It's May, which means it's time to gear up for your studio's annual recital! Yes, every group's performance preparations are different, but here are the eight stages pretty much every dancer goes through.

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Just for Fun
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet 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,

Self-doubt is my biggest enemy. I'm always comparing myself to the other dancers in my class, and even though my teachers have told me I'm talented, I never feel like I measure up. What's the best way to adjust my perspective?

Maddie

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Dear Katie
Francesca Axam-Hocker (Shoccara S. Marcus Photography, courtesy Axam-Hocker)

These days, Francesca "Frankie" Axam-Hocker and Ahren Victory are doing great: Axam-Hocker, who graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2014 with a BFA in dance, is now senior manager of visitor services at The Paley Center for Media; Victory, who graduated from the University of Arizona in 2017 with a BA in arts, media, and entertainment, is now playing Sillabub in the national tour of CATS. But ask these dancers about the past few years, and it's clear their current successes don't tell the whole story. Yes, even the most talented and motivated dancers struggle with postgrad life—but there are ways to ease your fears, stress, and uncertainty.

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Higher Ed
The Chase Brock Experience performing "Splendor we only partially imagined" (Kyle Froman, courtesy Rayn or Shine PR)

For many musical theater dancers, joining Actors' Equity—the union that represents theater performers—is one of the biggest milestones in their career. All Broadway shows fall under Equity, as do many off-Broadway shows, regional productions, and national tours. However, while getting your card can be great, it can also hinder—"especially if you're just coming into the business," says dancer Travante S. Baker, who's performed in the West Side Story international tour. "A lot of theaters have to conserve money and they can't always hire Equity performers because their rates are too expensive." So, is it better to go for your card right away, or try to book lots of jobs in smaller, regional theaters first? And if you are working toward a card, how do you make the most of the process?

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Musical Theater
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet 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,

I've reached a point where it's clear that my body isn't designed for ballet. Realizing that broke my heart, because dancing with a classical ballet company was always my dream. Some of my teachers have said that I should audition for contemporary groups, but I feel like that would be weird—I've barely studied contemporary dance, and I don't love it. Should I quit dance? Or should I go down a path I'm not 100 percent passionate about?

Aaliyah

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Dear Katie

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