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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Could this be burnout?


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Hello, I am majoring in dance at college and I've loved it! Especially the beginning of term I felt really good.


Recently, however, I've been having a hard time. My body is always fatigued so I have a hard time in technique class. I feel like my technique is regressing which leads to me feeling upset after class. I often have panic attacks about schoolwork deadlines and ballet exams. I often feel cold, and sometimes have trouble focusing on homework or even at barre.

I know that burnout can be caused by an overwhelming schedule and stress. Recently I get up at 6:00 am so that I can prepare for my 8:00 am class. I've been dancing up to 8 and almost 9 hours a day, plus I have academics so I often don't get home until past 10:00 pm, then I have homework and studying to do afterward. I know this is too much, but I've been pressuring myself not to miss out on any opportunities college has to offer. I especially have a hard time saying no to extracurricular dance opportunities like dancing in other student's choreography projects. In addition to class and rehearsal I've been trying to improve my stamina and body tone by going to the gym (don't worry, not on my 8+ hour days!). I've also been pressuring myself to loose a little weight before I start pas de deux class next term (but nothing too extreme, I like being healthy). I am really serious about my academics as well. Besides all that I don't have a very good roommate situation...

I know that I've taken on too much, and I am cutting back a little next term (no 8:00 am classes!), but if anyone could offer suggestions on additional things that may help I would appreciate it greatly.

Thank you!

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Ah, how good of you to ask!


First, let me express, on the part of the board, and its staff, our sympathy for your not feeling tip-top. It's the middle of the semester - a lot of college students get to feel this way now, so with that in mind, let me recommend your college student health center. The symptoms you describe could be very ordinary indeed, and be of the sort where a very ordinary change could improve everything. See them at your earliest opportunity. Tomorrow morning could be the beginning of the whole course of your life in how to deal successfully with problems. On the other hand, they could indicate a deeper underlying medical situation where some serious correction is necessary. Or it could be anywhere between those two extremes!


Keep us posted and let us know how it's going for you!

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