Excerpt from 25 Transitions © 2011 Dancer Transition Resource Centre. Photo by Randy Glynn.
Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario
Principal Training: Judy Jarvis, Danny Grossman, Eric Hyrst, Don Farnworth
Danced with: Danny Grossman Dance Company, Judy Jarvis Dance and Theatre Company, Randy Glynn Dance Project
Retrained in: Museum management and Curatorship
Currently: Development Co-ordinator, Dance Collection Danse
I feel lucky to have had such a long career as a dancer. I belong to that unique club of dancers whose careers spanned two distinct eras of bell-bottomed rehearsal pants. In 33 years, I was rarely injured. I worked with smart creative people and travelled to many countries doing what I loved most.
I spent most of my career as a performer and eventually Co-Artistic Director with the Danny Grossman Dance Company. It was a special place to work.
As a child, I was captivated by family stories, photo albums, letters and other remarkable keepsakes from past generations. We visited countless museums and historical sites across North America while on family camping trips. From tiny eccentric roadside collections to the Smithsonian – we saw it all! Much later, traveling internationally as a performer, I was able to experience many great museums and galleries of the world.
My lifelong passion for history merged with my dance interests and I began to focus on initiatives that lay at these crossroads, such as remounting classic Canadian works and documenting a collection of Grossman works, for future performance. To accompany the last annual Grossman home season, I curated a major exhibit of company costumes, sets, images and ephemera.
When I realized how deep my interest was in the celebration of history through collections and exhibitions, I decided to pursue formal training. So, at age 57 and after a 34 year hiatus from university, I left my husband and two children (home on the week-ends!) for a post-graduate program in Museum Management and Curatorship at Fleming College in Peterborough. I thrived on the daily stimulus of discussion and debate, although I have to admit that ploughing through the mountain of work they threw at us was definitely a challenge.
I graduated in 2009 and was lucky enough to land a juicy contract, my first, with the Nova Scotia Museum researching and writing new interpretive storylines. Now, at DCD, my personal interests fit well with their mandate and new directions, and I appreciate the flexibility inherent in a contract position.
I feel that I have evolved more than I have transitioned. It is as if I simply accumulated layers of understanding as my vision broadened. I know that this new phase in my life would not have been possible without the generous support of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre and for this I am forever grateful.
Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.