Mary-Louise Albert - Artistic Managing Director

"Like so many fellow dancers, I applied my work ethic, drive and tunnel vision – all qualities needed to succeed in the world of professional dance – to undertake my new adventure: going back to school."

Excerpt from 25 Transitions © 2011 Dancer Transition Resource Centre.  Photo by Jocelyne Halle.

Birthplace: Toronto, ON
Principal Training: Janet Baldwin School of Ballet and Sonja Chamberlain, Les Grands Ballets
Danced With: Judith Marcuse Dance Company, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre, Karen Jamieson Dance Company and independently
Retrained In: Business Management and Arts Management
Currently: Artistic Managing Director of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and Chutzpah! Festival

When I stopped dancing professionally at the age of 45, I already knew that I wanted to become an artistic director and presenter in order to continue to support dance, albeit in a different way. I began arts management studies at Capilano University, and later, business management and financial training at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).  My passion for the arts grew beyond dance to include music and theatre, which lead to my current position as the Artistic Managing Director of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and Chutzpah! Festival.

Happily, my core identity as a dancer has not changed. Like so many fellow dancers, I applied my work ethic, drive and tunnel vision – all qualities needed to succeed in the world of professional dance – to undertake my new adventure: going back to school.  Dancers are ingrained with the knowledge that no matter how trained the mind and body are, you are never “finished” training. Training can and does take on different forms as you age, but our personal and professional development is not finite or stagnant. When you try something new, you don’t lose what you had; you transpose your knowledge and skills onto a new project or goal, enabling growth and the exploration of new opportunities. To me, this is at the heart of what the Dancer Transition Resource Centre stands for. 

The support I received from the DTRC enabled me to step outside my comfort zone, take aim and dive into a completely new type of training, which paved the way for the next phase of my artistic and personal exploration – off stage.  It is a fact that I would not have been able to afford to graduate from two excellent programs if I had not received an initial retraining grant and later, the Eric Bruhn Memorial Award, from the DTRC. My gratitude to this wonderful organization, of which I have proudly been a member since its inception, is limitless. 

I feel very blessed. I had a very long career as dancer, have two great children (who are adults now!) and a supportive and dance-savvy husband, all of whom were completely behind me as I headed off to school… twice…as the oldest kid in the class.

DANCER TRANSITION
RESOURCE CENTRE

Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.