There was a great article in the Washington Post last week about what dancers do when they retire. Gone are the days when “retiring” signaled the end of your career. Instead, dancers are doing pretty much everything after retiring, including microbiology, bioengineering, surgery, geophysics…you get the idea. No profession is too much for these former professionals who kept their minds open to the possibilities after dance. It’s pretty inspiring stuff!
In my teachers’ days, after retiring, most dancers became dance teachers or worked for a dance school. A few became choreographers; many of the women got married and started families. When I was retiring, almost all of my colleagues went on to colleges and universities and had second careers, far from the dance world they had lived in for so many years. In my cohort at Boston Ballet, we have psychologists, teachers and lawyers, among other professions.
Today, the thinking has evolved even further. Many professionals companies have developed relationships with local colleges and universities to offer dancers the ability to earn a degree while dancing.
Opportunities like this are all around you, so if you’re worried about having to choose between dance and everything else, stop! There are so many ways to stay educated while doing what you love, and in so doing, be prepared for the next phase of your life.
This article is only one piece of evidence showing that dancers do incredibly well with their “after dance” lives. Determination, hard work, and self-discipline are just a few of the qualities that dancers have in abundance and that they carry into their lives beyond the studio.
Do you ever think about what you’d like to do when you stop dancing? Is there something you are passionate about that peaks your curiosity?