Excerpt from 25 Transitions © 2011 Dancer Transition Resource Centre. Photo by Nicolas Ruel.
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec
Principal training: The School of Toronto Dance Theatre
Danced with: Toronto Dance Theatre and many contemporary dance choreographers
Retrained in: Analytical Psychology, Jungian Analysis
Currently: Preparing for final exams
Around 30, I was already thinking about my eventual transition out of dance. I had a growing passion – studying the depth of the human psyche through C. G. Jung’s Analytical Psychology. It spoke to me as dance did but in a very different way, and these two paths to better know oneself had always seemed complementary. Although I had the desire and clarity to know that one day I wanted to be an analyst, this seemed almost insurmountable back then. There were no training programs in Canada and the ones that were most interesting to me were in Zurich, London or New York – meaning that not only would I have to leave Canada to study, but the high tuition fees and the knowledge that I couldn’t work in a foreign country made this financially impossible. The dream to be an analyst was nowhere close to reality.
In 1999, after 11 years of living and dancing in Toronto, I decided to move back to my native city, Montreal. The following year, the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts established the first Canadian training program in Toronto, which was excellent news. I wanted to start right away but I had just moved back to Montreal, and the minimum age to enter the program was 35. In addition, I had met with Joysanne Sidimus at DTRC where she discouraged me from leaving dance so early, saying that I’d regret it if I did. She was right, and I danced in Montreal for a number of years, and also began working on my own choreography.
At the age of 38, I asked myself, “Is there anything else you feel like you’d really want to dance?” The answer was no – I felt then, and still feel now, like my dancing career was complete and fulfilling. I could now move on to my next passion. I finally felt ready and applied to the programme, with the benefit of doing so with much more maturity and self-reflection.
The OAJA training programme is long and very expensive, especially for a dancer, but in the autumn of 2011, I will be in the midst my final exams and on the brink of graduation. With the immense help of the DTRC I was able to make my second passion a career.
Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.