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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Major Slump...need help

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I am in a major ballet slump! I am in my second year with a professional ballet company but I feel like I am falling apart. I am not doing horribly there as I am casted and have been making steady progress but I just feel awful. I feel like I am losing the technique I worked so hard to get due to less than wonderful classes while we are in rehersal periods and am frusterated in rehersal because I feel like I should be doing better. I want to leve this company and go somewhere else but I am afraid that I wont find another position because the ballet job market seems to yet again be so tight this year. :wub: I am looking around a bit but from what I hear most companies don't have positions and some are even downsizing...yikes!! What should I do? Should I just be happy to be dancing with a company and stick out out another year? Any advice? I feel frusterated and somewhat unmotivated because I feel like I am doing so badly. This is very uncharacteristic of me because I have always been the fighter...the one who was going to make it at all odds and prove to others and myself that I could do it. Now I just don't know what to do, I don't know if I still have that fight in me. Is this a sign I am near the end of my career and need to move on?? Has anyone ever felt like this before?? :shrug:

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Kiki, I think all dancers feel like this sometimes. If you really feel that this company is not right for you, then it's time to move on. But, if you feel that you are doing well there, and this is just a temporary slump, then hang in there and try to turn all the negative feelings which are burning up energy, into positive work to improve yourself. When you don't feel you are dancing well, you have to take charge and put your energies where they will create positive results. If the company classes are not good, talk to the director. If only some of them are not good, and others are good, try to focus on the good ones and carry that work into the other ones. Work on your own as much as possible. Or go to a teacher in the school for help. Find a way to turn it around! :wub:

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Welcome to the world of work. What you are describing is frequently encountered in all occupations when an entry-level employee has been with an organization long enough for the bloom to go off the rose, and the realities of work set in. Disillusionment, frustration, and even depression are frequently found in such employees. Press on! In runner's terms, you have just "hit the wall", where the race just doesn't seem worth the winning. You go on, "breaking through the wall", and reach the next stage of working, where the work starts being fun again, and challenges are not fights. :wub:

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I'm in my second season as an apprentice. I feel exactly the same way. I feel like I've "lost" a lot of technical abilities, although a lot of the company girls tell me I'm working cleaner and the AD says I look better. Pirouettes are gone, the extension is lower, etc... I've had days when I feel like I'm getting worse and worse. I think the leap from student to professional is slower and more subtle than we hope for. And it's really hard in a company, because the priority isn't really on the training. It's all about presenting a show. Hard adjustment.


I think I've learned more about the directions of the body and about the order of eyes, legs, and arms to make a better presentation. It sounds elementary...but acutally makes a huge difference in how you look on stage.


Sitting around all day is frustrating too. I got cast in the first series of performances and got excited. But the second series, I didn't get cast...and got very disillusioned and irritated. Just this week, I realized that it had nothing to do with me. It's just about the show.


I talked to the AD and to a lot of the dancers. Everyone's gone through this. And at a certain point, you have to take charge of your own training. Being a new dancer is HARD. I've been seeing a lot more limitiation and flaws my dancing that I never noticed before, and were never pointed out before in classes. It's a big blow to the self esteem. But hey, you got to this point. There must be something there, or you never would've gotten asked to be in this company in the first place. If you've been cast in ballets, that's a really good sign.


It's so hard. Do you like the ballets? Do the other dancers seem happy? PM me if you want to chat...I can relate to this. It's been hard. The past week or so, I've added some evening open classes a couple times a week. The classes are free, I get to take with some different teachers, and I really enjoy working on myself without the added pressure of "performing" in company class. In company class, I feel like I have to show certain progress in certain areas that have been discussed with me. It's also hard when the level of the dancers is all really high. I already feel like these open classes are helping with my confidence. I feel stronger and less inhibited to try things.

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Thanks everyone! I am really trying to work through this. I have never felt this uncertain about my future in ballet before...it kinda scares me!!! I talked to some one of my non dancing friends and for the first time ever I actually thought that what she was doing really sounded exciting to me. I used to never wish for anything else besides my ballet life. I guess the realities of a dancers life are starting to settle in. I am probably just over analyzing everything as I always do and am just frusterated with my own performance lately. I am trying to not think so much and just remember why I loved ballet to begin with. I think most of my frustration comes from the fact that I dont feel like I am improving as much as I did while I was a student and that is one of my favorite things about ballet...the constant striving to be better. I do everything I can while I'm there to improve on my own but some things are out of my control. I just dont want to leave and regret it or stay and regret it!! I don't think this company is a place where I would see myself wanting to dance years from now but I have stayed because I knew I needed the experience. I'm happy for that but just unsure of what to do if I can't find another job. ahhhhhhhh. In the meantime I am just carrying on as always- just a little more stressed out!!!

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