With the help of jointers, planers, files and table saws – Darren Bonin is building a new career with his own two hands. He’s about to earn his diploma in Furniture Finishing at Rosemount Technology Centre in Montreal and is on his way to starting his own business. So just how did Darren transition from dancer to wood craftsman?
Darren enjoyed an outstanding career, dancing throughout Canada, US, Mexico, South America, UK, Europe, Scandinavia, India, and Japan. He danced for many celebrated companies including Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, O Vertigo, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, and Pigeons International. He also performed and choreographed for television shows such as Radio Canada’s “Le match des étoiles” and CanalVie’s “La bosse des noces”.
When it was time to transition, Darren discovered a second career that he could be passionate about. “It was important for me to choose a profession that offers both creativity and physicality. A career as a wood craftsman seemed like the perfect match. I wanted to make sure my choice was a good one, so I consulted a career counsellor [with DTRC support],” says Darren. “That experience helped to confirm my choice.”
In 2012, Darren received the Peter F. Bronfman Memorial Award to subsidize his second year of study. The highlight of the year was his final project – an opportunity to design, draft, and build a custom piece of furniture utilizing all of his newly learned skills. The creation was an armoire for his daughter Charlotte - a beautiful and meaningful piece. “The best part was bringing it home, seeing the look on her face, and hearing those words... ‘does it open up to Narnia?’... It was a magical moment.”
When asked to describe how his background in dance will help him excel in his second career, Darren replies, “Becoming and remaining a professional dancer requires commitment, strong work ethic, and focus. These skills are necessary for success in not just dance, but in all professions. So in essence, dance has given me the tools to succeed in any pursuit. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences throughout the years, and it’s these experiences that help to motivate and inspire my new efforts.”
Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.