Disappointment: How to Deal
There’s no greater disappointment than psyching yourself up and performing your heart out only to get rejected by your school or company of choice. Or even worse, getting cut halfway through the audition, before you have had a chance to show them what you can do.
It’s so frustrating. It can really get you down.
Some dancers are tempted to take these rejections as final judgments on their dancing.
Please resist that temptation.
For starters, you can’t say why you weren’t chosen. Artistic Directors have all kinds of reasons they choose and don’t choose dancers, from height and weight to hair color. If you danced well, then try not to worry about it too much.
Dwelling on why you didn’t get in when you can’t ever know the reason is a lesson in frustration.
Instead, try to keep your focus on what’s coming up next.
If you’re doing multiple auditions, you may not have a lot of turnaround between one audition and the next. Here are some tips for dealing with your disappointment so that you can bounce back quickly.
- There’s no rejection; there’s only selection. Think about it like this: directors aren’t necessarily saying no to you; they’re saying yes to someone else. When you’re not selected for any one thing, that means you’re available for something else. Keep looking.
- Always walk away from the audition with *something*: a strategy to apply to your dancing, a style to try, a good correction to apply. You can always learn from the experience. Making that part of the process gives you a larger focus beyond just getting in or not.
- Remember the bigger picture. You’re doing something you love and you’re working hard, and this is part of the process. Take what you’ve observed and bring it back to the studio. Use the experience to work smarter, not just harder.
If you’re having trouble quieting the part of your brain that enjoys reliving rejection, try some thought stoppage. Find a word or short phrase to cut off your negativity before it consumes you. For example, “Stop” or “Not now.” I like the Italian word for enough, “Basta.” My dancers find a word that silences their inner critic and they stick with it.
Then, you can try a little mental reprogramming to find words and cues to lift you up and keep your mind clear while dancing. If you could use some help applying this strategy, shoot me an email. It’s my speciality!