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Allowing Imperfection with Bonnie Robson, MD

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

New Bendy Bodies Podcast Episode!

A very high percentage of dancers and athletic artists struggle with perfectionism: it’s what makes us so good at what we do, while at the same time can be unhealthy for us as individuals.

Bonnie Robson, M.D., world-renowned psychiatrist and dance medicine specialist, is back to talk to us about perfectionism in the arts world. She defines perfectionism, and explores the duality of perfectionism and anxiety. Bonnie discusses the difference between positive and negative perfectionism, and warns of the danger of the “I should” syndrome.

Bonnie shares techniques to get rid of negative thoughts and looks at performance STRIVINGS versus performance CONCERNS. She discusses the variables that differentiate between adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, and how unhealthy competition actually decreases creativity.

We look at how the pursuit of perfection can increase stress, which contributes to social anxiety, eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts. Bonnie offers tips for training and setting reasonable goals, and shares tools for parents to recognize stress and anxiety in their young artists. As Bonnie reminds everyone who strives for perfection, “It’s ok to say that’s good enough”.

This episode is a must-listen for parents, artists, studio owners, and dance medicine professionals working with artists on a regular basis.

Episode transcript:

Episode 31 - Allowing Imperfection with Bonnie Robson, MD
Download PDF • 177KB


Click here to access the article I mentioned by Jessica Eccles, MD, "Brain structure and joint hypermobility: relevance to the expression of psychiatric symptoms".

Want to learn more about the intersection between hypermobility, anxiety, dysautonomia, and neurodivergence?

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(ID: a young female ballet dancer on pointe in a flowing tutu sitting on her heels and leaning against a wall)

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