Dear Katie: Is It Unhealthy to Be Obsessed With Dance?
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I love dance so much. In fact, I think I might love it TOO much. I'm completely obsessed: I spend every minute I can at the studio, and I'm even having dreams about dance class. Is that bad, or unhealthy? Am I going to burn out?
I, too, was a self-proclaimed bunhead when I was younger! It's great to have that passion and drive—you'll need it if you're going to pursue a professional career. I always say that if you don't love it, you'll never make it.
However, not having anything else in your life can be unhealthy. Developing other interests is crucial in part because a future in dance is never certain. Not to sound dire, but you could get a career-ending injury—or, as in my case, illness—without any warning. When I had to stop dancing, I felt empty. I'd spent my entire life up to that point focused only on ballet, and when it was taken away from me, I didn't know what to do.
But even dancers who have long, speed-bump-free careers still benefit from having non-dance interests. Nurturing a hobby or passion that can take your mind off dance will only improve your dancing—it might give you a new perspective on your artistry, for example—and could keep you from burning out. Don't limit yourself! Having a life outside the studio doesn't mean you're any less committed to dance.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.