In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet 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!
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?
Every dancer struggles with self-doubt—including world-famous dancers. Start out by recognizing that even people who appear super-confident have some aspect of their technique or performance they wish they could change. Knowing that you're not alone will give you a healthier sense of perspective.
Hard as it can be, try to really hear and believe your teachers. They're looking at your dancing more objectively than you are, and they wouldn't say you were talented if you weren't. Let their faith in you bolster your faith in yourself.
Finally, set small, achievable goals on a regular basis. Think, "Today I'm going to work on my turnout," or "I want to focus on my port de bras in this class." Narrowing your focus will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or defeated by the need to measure up on every front. The mental side of dance is always the hardest, but if you can teach yourself to believe in your talent, you will succeed.
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.