In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I used to know what I wanted—a dance career—but now I'm not so sure. These days, my parents are so involved in my training that sometimes it feels like I'm pursuing their dream instead of mine. How can I figure out whether I really want to do this, or if I'm just doing it to make them happy?
This is an extremely difficult situation, but good for you for being aware of it. The first thing I want to tell you is this: If you decide you don't want to dance, that's OK. You are NOT a failure.
Ask yourself some honest questions. If nobody else's feelings were involved, would you stop dancing? Can you see yourself pursuing another dream? If the answer to either of those questions is "yes," it might be time to consider other paths. A dance career requires complete commitment, so if your heart isn't in it, you won't make it.
If you're hazy on your feelings, I'd suggest sticking with dance for one more year. In that year, give it 150 percent. If, after a year, you're tired and have clearly fallen out of love with dance, then you have one answer; if you're newly energized and have rediscovered your old passion, you have another.
It's worth taking the time to figure out if dance is really your calling—as you said, there was a time when you dreamed of being a dancer. But don't freak out if it isn't. You need to live for yourself, not for other people.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.