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Alleviating Anxiety with Jo-Anne La Flèche

Dance and other performing arts are, by nature, stressful. Stress can easily develop into anxiety, which is exponentially more common in the hypermobile population than the general population.

How can you distinguish between stress and anxiety? What can you do to manage your anxiety? When is it time to seek outside help?

We asked these questions and more of Jo-Anne La Flèche, a clinical and dance psychologist with a Masters in Somatics.

Jo-Anne defines the difference between stress and anxiety, and discusses factors that may contribute to anxiety, both within a person and in their external circumstances. She breaks down how a dance environment might foster anxiety and shares ways to self-manage that anxiety.

Self-care practices are offered as ways to lower anxiety, as well as seeing the value in recognizing things you can’t control. Jo-Anne lists signs that may indicate a dancer should seek help in managing their mental health and suggests ways to find the right therapist for you.

Finally, Jo-Anne shares her thoughts on why it’s important to have an identity outside of dance.

For all artists or even anyone struggling with anxiety, this episode is not to be missed.

Click to access informational papers written by Jo-Anne under the auspices of the Dance/USA Task Force on Dancer Health on anxiety and depression.


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