Excerpt from 25 Transitions © 2011 Dancer Transition Resource Centre.
Birthplace: Trois-Rivières, QC
Principal training: Canada's National Ballet School
Danced with: The National Ballet of Canada
Retrained in: Teachers Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School
Currently: Full-time Ballet Teacher at Canada's National Ballet School
Even as a teenager at Canada’s National Ballet School, I remember being realistic about the length of the career I may have – I was hoping for twenty years, but knew it could be much shorter for a number of reasons. Fortunately, I had a tremendously satisfying twenty-two year career with the National Ballet of Canada and many guest appearances internationally, but I never took a single day for granted.
I joined the Dancer Transition Resource Center during the organization’s very first year. I felt so proud of Joysanne Sidimus for choosing to help dancers handle the often difficult transition from their performing career. Personally, I felt emotionally able to envision my future without dancing, but the opportunity to begin planning early for my eventual retraining was extremely helpful. When I was 22, the DTRC offered the dancers at NBOC a survey called the Career Assessment Inventory, designed to rate one’s interest in a variety of possible post-dance career choices, which helped me ease into really facing my future after dance.
When I retired from NBOC in 2005, I felt completely prepared emotionally, intellectually and financially to take on a new career, but which one? After much soul-searching and exploring a great number of my other interests, it became clear that teaching ballet was going to be my next career. I discovered Canada’s National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, which would prepare me to teach students at all levels. My DTRC grant application was successful and I retrained from 2007 to 2008.
I loved going back to school. I have always enjoyed learning and kept my education alive during my ballet career with long-distance university courses. It was especially wonderful to go back to the school I graduated from, and experience the new and incredibly beautiful NBS building. After graduating from the program with distinction and winning the Betty Oliphant Award, I had the good fortune to become a full-time ballet teacher at Canada’s National Ballet School.
I want to congratulate the DTRC for 25 years of making a positive impact on dancers’ lives. They made the transition easy for me, and I’m definitely a better teacher now for having had their support.
Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.