Excerpt from 25 Transitions © 2011 Dancer Transition Resource Centre. Photo by Benoit Lachambre.
Birthplace: Toronto, ON
Principal Training: Alberta Ballet School, Grant MacEwan College, Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
Danced With: DansePartout, Jean Pierre Perrault, Ginette Laurin, Paul Andre Fortier, Benoit Lachambre
Retrained In: Marketing and International Business
Currently: Director, Patricia Gelinas Gallery, patriciagelinas.com
I lived, breathed and slept dance for 25 years, until I retired at age 33. Though I knew people outside of dance and found them intriguing, interesting and different, I never imagined myself living in their world.
In 1999, my dance career was coming to an end and I knew I had to make a major change so that I was able to raise my two young children and provide a stable future for us. I contacted the DTRC and spoke to Joysanne, and began to feel that I had a support system as I faced my transition. Despite my fear, I threw myself into my transition the way I used to give myself to dance.
I had always dreamt of being a business woman, helping artists and making an impact on a world I only knew from a distance. I mustered the courage to apply, but never imagined I would be accepted by one of the top five business schools in North America – the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University – I was thrilled!
I studied Economics, Marketing and International Business for five years, living a life that couldn’t have been further from dance. We are taught in business school that the more you know....the more you realise what you don’t know. Stay humble and work hard. The values I carried from dance pulled me through. Determination, perseverance and delayed satisfaction are words we hear over and over, but dancers understand their true meaning. I began to realize that actually, my old dance world and my new business world were very closely related. My new life started making sense.
Following my graduation, I was offered a position by an important gallery representing French Canadian artists at international exhibitions, and many of the artists became friends. One day, they asked that I help them navigate the business of art which can be a very uncomfortable environment for artists. I started the first online gallery devoted to Quebec artists who create one-of-a-kind, limited series works in a variety of media. Currently, I am working in an established exclusive jewellery gallery boutique which I will take over one day, as I continue to represent Quebec artists. The DTRC was instrumental in allowing me to pursue my dream as I transitioned, and make it a reality. I cannot thank them enough for the support they gave me.
Helping dancers make necessary transitions into, within, and from professional performing careers since 1985.