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Life Outside the Studio.

Josh Spell, former Pacific Northwest Ballet company member and consulting therapist to PNB School, explains why dancers should explore outside interests and how to get started.

Layer your identity. Dance often demands full focus, but don't attach your self-worth solely to your achievements onstage, says Spell. "We are people first and dancers second," he notes.

Forge new paths. Exploring additional artistic pursuits creates new neural pathways in the brain that will expand your expression and emotional development. Having varied perspectives will add more nuance to who you are as a person.

Start small. Try carving out small pieces of your day for nondance activities. Maybe you spend five minutes in the morning doing meditative sketching or researching a dinner recipe. Don't set the expectation that a new interest will take all of your energy. "It's not really about the time," Spell says. "It's about the intention."

Enlist a buddy. It can be scary to be a beginner again, so find a friend or fellow dancer to explore a new hobby with you. Having a support system will bring more fun into the fear of starting fresh.

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Title Annotation:the conversation
Author:Woods, Shannon
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance review
Date:Dec 1, 2020
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