We’ve all had those times when we think about quitting dance. Like any other passion, especially one that has a massive physical and social commitment, burnout, boredom, or even being overwhelmed might make you rethink your dance aspirations. It happens to dancers of all commitments and skill levels. It’s usually fleeting, but you want to make sure you make the best decision for you in the moment, and if you know you ultimately want to keep dancing, you need to find your spark again.
Address the Why
One of the simplest ways to keep going when something gets hard is to ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you do. List all the reasons that you’re feeling disconnected from dance in the moment and decide how you want to address them. This can also help you see if it’s actually dance that you’re struggling with or something else. Are you upset because you haven’t learned a trick? Are you tired and need a break? Does your schedule need to be reworked?
Looking back on your best dance memories like pictures, performance videos, souvenirs, and journal entries might help remind you why you’ve been putting in so much work. If you find that you need to do this often, start a box filled with all happy memories from dance. You never know when it could come in handy as a pick-me-up. Use it to just remind yourself how much and for how long you’ve loved dancing.
Take a Break
Burnout is such a real and common thing that happens to young dancers. Sometimes the best thing you can do for you and your love of dance is simply to take a break. Dance is hard work, but it’s also fun! If you’re having a hard time seeing that, a few days off can help relieve that feeling that dance is a task. If you find yourself really missing dance during your break, you can improv and dance for fun. When you feel ready, dance will be there waiting for you again.
Take Some of the Pressure Off
If you don’t fully feel ready to take a true break, you can cut down your training time. So if you train four days a week, committing to two until you feel better might be the right step. Taking a break or some time off is nothing to be ashamed of, you need to take care of yourself! We dance our best when we are happiest.
Talk It Out
Sometimes we just need to talk to someone who can understand what we are going through. This could be a dance teacher, teammate, parent, or even a listening ear outside of dance. Tell them how you are feeling and see what they say. They won’t want to see you get burnout either, and they can give you a fresh perspective. It’s ok to ask for help. Everyone needs it from time to time.
Find Your Inspiration
Watch inspiring dance movies like Feel The Beat or shows and just take in the joy of dance. You might also watch competition videos from various dancers, you never know who or what might make you want to dance again. Just have fun. Enjoy the art and movement! (Dance movie marathon, anyone?)
Burnout can be hard, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk with someone about what you’re dealing with and know that your love for dance will come back. Sometimes, it just takes time and patience.