Yesterday I attended the final performance of a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet named Yvonne Borree. It was a lovely performance and at the end there were tears, hugs, flowers and confetti. \
She is maybe in her late thirties, and still is of course is in fabulous shape, but I began to wonder, what do ballet dancers do when they retire? Inher case I read that she is going to teach at their ballet school, but there can only be so many teaching positions. \
From "star" dancers on down to corps members, what do they do with the rest of their lives? How do they start a NEW career in their thirties?
They are hunted down for their dance belts.
How much do professional ballet dancers get paid? Just curious. \
Is the dancer retiring from a company or from the profession?
Ballet dancers -- not stars, but members of the corps of a major company -- earn about 450-500 a week. Which they spend entirely on cigarettes, seemingly.
They can teach, which can be a living death for a performing artist. They can run a regional company in some small town. They can get married to somebody with money. They can write a book.
I would think most of them teach, choreograph or coach. For instance, after Gelsey Kirkland trashed her career in the 1980s, she''s managed to carve out a decent career coaching and now she has her own ballet academy in New York City. Suzanne Farrell heads up her own dance company in New York City as well. Allegra Kent still teaches. \
That said, these are "name" dancers--I couldn''t speculate on what happens to most corps de ballet members.
What about the men?
It depends. A lot of dancers end up with crippling arthritis, so they can''t all teach.
One of the nursing administrators at the hospital where I work was a ballet dancer in her youth. \
So at least one left dancing entirely, and got a real job.
Mostly they spend their new free time planning and saving up for the knee and hip replacements they''ll be needing.
I know one who became a kept man of a man much much older than himself.
many go into training or pilates.
Some stay involved in dance as teachers, directors and choreographers; some get involved in administrative positions with dance companies. But many others move into other professions. I know former dancers who are now film makers, real estate agents, photographers, personal trainers and a host of other jobs. And some just marry well, and live in splendid retirement.\
Only the top names make really good money while dancing; the average corps dancer just gets by during their dance career; unless they are really good with money, they will definitely have to keep working. Many face this reality while young, and become adept at investing. \
Very few can dance past 40, because the body, even if in excellent shape, can''t balance the way it needs to for the demands of high-level professional dance.\
A former principal dancer with New York City Ballet found an innovative solution. She formed an organization that helps dancers transition out of their dance careers. (Link provided).
Similar to r11, the one dancer I know is also a sociopath who found a self-loathing partner to traumatize and who finances his lifestyle. \
He travels the globe constantly attending "Christian Dance Workshops" to which he serves as "visiting advisor". The locations of these workshops have included Singapore, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, and pretty much anyplace else offering unlimited access to Asian hookers.\
I''m really not kidding - wish I was.
Some companies like the San Francisco Ballet have program to help dancers get college degrees whilst still dancing so that they can have a career (or a chance at one) once they stop dancing. Quite a few ex-SF dancers have found alternative careers, but many of them are still associated with ballet in some fashion. The ones who remain associated were principals however.
They stalk Anne Bass hoping to be showered with free dinners at 920 Fifth and weekend invites to the country house in South Kent CT.
LOL, that''s very *specific* R16. Tell more.
NYC company dancers, like other Equity card holders, get access to a lot of career development trainin, and education funding related to their field. And some of it not much related.\
Some wait till late in their dance careers to apply to college, to train as physical therapists, teachers (in any specialty).\
My podiatrist''s office in Lincoln Center catered to a lot of ballet dancers, and some of the desk staff, medical assistants and podiatric nurses had been dancers who''d gotten interested in the field, maybe because they were always getting foot problems
I have questions. \
Ballet can only feature stories about youth, because no one can dance past 40? Are there characters older than 40 in ballet? If so, I guess they would be played by people under 40, but do those people have to dance like they''re old? Why not just get an older person to do it?\
I don''t get it.
:Are there characters older than 40 in ballet? "\
very very occasionally an older dancer will perform a "character " role - like the old guy in the Nutcracker, but frankly dnacers don''t want to be seen not performing at the top of their abilities so when they become too old (forty?) they stop.
They get cameo roles on Sex and the City
Barry S Nikov
I know one who is transitioning to a career in physical rehab. She will probably work with injured dancers.\
I know another one who teaches ballet classes to kids, but it''s a part-time gig.
Didn''t you watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"?
I don''t want to wait on tables! And what I really don''t want to do is teach other people what I should be doing myself!!
They get a lot of foot surgeries.
Jetes in the garage. Very sad.
I don''t know why you''re all saying we end up in the chronic injury junk pile. you inactive types are more prone to that.\
I danced for 20 years, switched to media, and now I''m still slim and fit, run, dance (socially), rock climb and more, all because of my dance training.
ex-dancer in media
R27, and you''re also an obnoxious bitch. Good for you!\
I''ve heard dancers have horrible feet--is that true?
I''ve seen lots of former female ballet dancers get really fat because the eating disorders they developed to stay skinny messed up their metabolism.
They''re sent to the glue factory.
R18- I''m a dancer and I''m in that area. If you don''t mind, who is your podiatrist (that is, if you were happy with him/her)?
Male dancers are like gay porn stars and male models: they all find rich sugar daddies and retire to lives of splendor, wealth, and unending happiness!
the Gospel According to DL
"Ballet can only feature stories about youth, because no one can dance past 40? Are there characters older than 40 in ballet? "\
There are a few such roles - mothers and fathers, wizards, yentas, kings and queens, etc. They''re usually filled by "character dancers", semi-retired dancers who have another job with the company - usually the dance master or mistress. At my local company, an in-house choreographer likes to do these roles.
What?!?!? No one mentioned "The Turning Point"????
Emma and Dee Dee
I imagine they teach, maybe work for dance companies or dance schools in an administrative capacity, or go get a "normal" job outside of dance. It''s the same for many ex-athletes (who aren''t all millionaires).\
Did you think they either taught dance or died?
"[R27], and you''re also an obnoxious bitch. Good for you!\
I''ve heard dancers have horrible feet--is that true?"\
no, but you''re pretty horrible, and you''ve never been reviewed glowingly in the New york times, and i doubt you can even do 20 push-ups, let alone dance at all.
The ballet school in Queens my mom sent my sister and I to as kids were run by former corps members from one of the companies in Manhattan.\
I suspect that a lot of them head out to the ''burbs and teach the kiddies.
Jock Soto got really fat. As I recall, at the time of his retirement he said he had aspirations to have a cooking show on the Food Channel. I guess it did not work out as planned.
retire at 40? shit, nobody told me.
Chita Rivera, running like a gazelle up 8th Ave to get away from mlop
Aren''t most Broadway choreographers and directors ex-dancers?
Perhaps but were they ballet dancers?
My niece is a former dancer - she became a yoga instructor.
Let''s not forget that a lot of people who get into the arts come from privileged backgrounds. So a lot of them don''t actually "need" jobs when they retire.\
The "dancer" on this thread is full of shit. Many dancers end up with arthritis, joint problems and foot problems- sometimes quite severe. The kind of dancing required in ballet is very high impact. Then you have to add in the toll from eating disorders, which can create huge problems as well. I''ve had friends who were ballet dancers and I''m shocked by some of the stories. Women who were emaciated being told they were "fat" and needed to lose weight.\
"Dancer" is a liar.
[quote]Let''s not forget that a lot of people who get into the arts come from privileged backgrounds.\
Hence why ''the arts'' are often just a bunch of self indulgent bullshit(and I love art). This is not at all to say that someone coming from a wealthy family is any less likely to be artistic, but that so many self important losers who can afford to fling their pretentious bullshit all around can do so because of it.\
And hipster culture is the evil offspring that has been fostered in part by this mentality.
this thread is owned by zina bethume
They go to work in DC for over their head politicians.
The idea that a large people in the arts do not need to work for a living is self-evidently ridiculous.\
If that were the case, landlords would be fighting over getting dancers,actors, painters, writers, etc into their buildings. Few in the arts would be living in Queens, Staten Island, New Jersey, since they would have the resources to swamp the Central Park East and West real estate markets. \
Arts organizations would be all operating in the black since the families of their employees would be able to keep them going.
"Jock Soto got really fat. As I recall, at the time of his retirement he said he had aspirations to have a cooking show on the Food Channel. I guess it did not work out as planned."\
Unnecessarily bitchy--at least Soto is gay and out. Many danseurs are breeders.
Good friend of mine was one of the founding members of the Australian Ballet, danced world wide, Prima Ballerina in Europe, danced for the Kennedys in the White House...\
1 - her feet were horrible to look at. Deformed after years of dancing. Deformed is not an exaggeration\
2 - she told me that good dancers can dance for years after they turn 40 in Eurpoe but in North America the attitude is what is different. She was the principal dancer in Swan Lake in her 40s and said that maturity is necessary in a lot of the principal parts and you just don''t see it this side of the ocean.\
She''s well into her 60s and still teaching half the year in Norway and half the year in Australia
R49 I did not mean to be bitchy, I always thought Soto was balzingly hot.
ooops, I meant blazingly hot.
R48- you''re a MORON. Ever been to an art school or dancing school? It''s all the children of rich parents dressing themselves in rags, pretending that they''re poor. You obviously know no one in the arts.
When I was at the SF ballet most of the students were on scholarship. I don''t remember very many rich kids as you describe. All the boys were on scholarship and most of us were dirt poor.
Quite a few of them become lawyers. I remember reading an article in the NY Times a few years back about this. A dean or professor at Columbia Law School commented on how former ballet dancers were among their very best students, often making law review and just generally succeeding far beyond what their LSAT scores would predict. He attributed this to their highly disciplined work ethic.
An ex of mine is a Juilliard-trained ballet dancer who recently turned 40. He started a small NYC dance troupe about ten years ago and still runs it, though he no longer performs in their performances himself. They do periodic shows that he choreographs, and he also travels around the world (only occasionally to exotic places) teaching month-long ballet stints generally to high school-age girls.\
He still lives paycheck-to-paycheck and in a crappy studio on the UES. He''s still incredibly good-looking, and could probably find a wealthy sugardaddy in a heartbeat (even though he no longer has his dancer bod), but would never do so merely on principle. He teaches an adjunct class at Juilliard and hopes it will grow into a more permanent position.
What do ballet dancers and castrati have in common?
There''s new ballet shoes with cush in them for female dancers, it''s been a couple of years but I was on pointe and I did all right in them. I have injured feet too. And there were some gay men who did pointe in my class and one TG.\
These shoes were awesome, they have eva soles in them and are super cush. Many of the biggest names use them. No need to kill your feet today.
Unfortunately, my dancer friends died of AIDS. When they retire, they just try to live.
Gaynor-Mindens. That''s the pointe shoes with cush. Every ballerina should be wearing them.
My mom used to love to let us know how badass she was by telling us the story of the time she broke her toe while she was bike-riding, and danced [italic]en pointe[/italic] that same night.
R53 Why do you think I would post something like that? Figure it out. I make my living in the arts. \
Of course there are some trust fund babies, but not that many. I would say the majority are upper middle class---well-off enough for mom and dad to help out while they are in their early 20s but certainly not enough to live without having a job when they get older.\
(If you are not too much of an idiot, you might remember the issue was the claim that dancers come from money and do not need to work after retirement.)
OK, R51/52--I apologize for jumping in so quickly. For what it''s worth I think he''s hot as well, fat or not.
Many turn to prostitution and keep their ballet shoes in boxes in a lower drawer.
Many suicide by throwing themselves into the river.
Two examples, both people I know/knew.
One danced with a large ballet company in Texas. Retired rather earlier than most due to an injury. Went to work part-time with a newspaper while she went back to college. She's now an English professor at a very good college in upstate New York. And she's a sweet, pretty, fun person to know.
The other...completely the opposite. About a year ago, I had a tenant who had danced with the New York City Ballet and also worked with Patrelle at some point. She was a rich doctor's daughter out of the best private schools, etc. After she retired, she ended up working as a bartender. Barely working, that is. She got fired from job after job for drinking the stock, showing up late, etc.. There were days when my partner would have to knock on her door at four in the afternoon to ask her if she had work that day. She'd get dressed without showering, douse herself with some cheap floral body spray from the drugstore, and rush to work.
During the time I knew her, she was fired from six jobs...at one point, she was fired four times in three weeks. Before she rented from us, she was living with her "boyfriend," a nerdy young man whose rent was paid by rich parents. He threw her out when he found out she was turning tricks (and not using protection).
We didn't know her problems when we rented to her, but we found out fast. We found vodka bottles all over her room. Full, empty, half empty. Dozens of them. In boxes, in the closet, on the window sill outside, under the bed, in the dresser next to a box of used tampons.
She would shut herself up in her rooms, drinking, smoking, and read for up to twenty hours at a time. Go to work in the evening. Hang out at a transexual bar for an hour or two after work, come home around one in the morning, then go back out around three a.m. to see some "boyfriend."
She got sloppy about paying the rent. Lying and saying that all the paychecks had been stolen at work and that she'd had a bad night for tips. All claimed while money was literally falling out of her purse. We later found out that she'd been evicted or ran out on landlords about five times in one year. Each time, she'd leave her father to settle things and collect her belongings.
All the while, she was claiming to be a prudish born-again virgin who hadn't been with anyone sexually since her boyfriend died of cancer. Then, of course, she ran naked into my partner's room and jumped onto him while he was reading in bed.
About two days later, she was $100 short on the rent. She said she was going out to the ATM to get the cash. And never came back. She moved out with just her purse...didn't take so much as a change of underwear.
She spent some time living out of cheap hotel on her tip money, got fired, got picked up by a married lawyer who was willing to keep her, messed up that situation, and...when last I heard...has spent the past six months living on the couch in some friend's basement apartment.
In a way, her story is sad because she was very talented and pretty...but, while I tend to me a very sympathetic person, I can't feel sorry for her because, even when you strip away the drinking and problems, she is a toxic, sullen bitch.
[quote]One of the nursing administrators at the hospital where I work was a ballet dancer in her youth.\
So at least one left dancing entirely, and got a real job [/quote]\
Well aren''t you special "RN"...dancing isn''t a REAL job. You sound like every nurse I know (and I know many, since I am a nurse myself). All jealous of the pretty prima ballerinas while they wipe up patient''s poo. Dancing, and many of the arts, IS a real job, Nurse Ratched.\
Why are nurses so bitchy and jealous?
My physical therapist used to be a dancer. She''s in her 50s now, so that was a while ago. She was one of the first Feldenkrais teachers in the US.
"my mom sent my sister and I"
[quote]no, but you''re pretty horrible, and you''ve never been reviewed glowingly in the New york times, and i doubt you can even do 20 push-ups, let alone dance at all.\
Time for a dance-off, you bitches.
Albert Evans retired today from NYC Balet. He is gay and very cute; I wonder what he will do now.
I was just watching a ballet piece on tv and wondered what happens to those beautifull and arrogant looking ballet dancers when they are pst their prime. Working so hard for years on end to maintain their physical condition etc et all, decided to seek answers and here I am, thanking you all for your great and insightfull answers. Very interesting and made me feel sorry for them somehow as they provide such great performances to us their audience
I need a barre dvd - can anyone recommend one? I have a barre, I want to get back into it. I just can''t afford, nor have the will to go to a ballet school anymore. I had a great teacher for beg ballet in SF (Kathy Matha), I was on pointe (I''m a female) but no longer live in SF....
"no, but you''re pretty horrible, and you''ve never been reviewed glowingly in the New york times, and i doubt you can even do 20 push-ups, let alone dance at all."%0D\
"Reviewed glowingly in the New York Times?" Oh shut up, you twat. I seriously doubt you''re all you crack yourself up to be. %0D\
After retiring my cousin went to some sort of chef school. She used to work on a lot of movie sets after graduating. She was invited to work for Hugh Heffner but didn''t accept the job.\
Now she does high end catering. She''s gained 20 lbs and looks fantastic. She was way too skinny when she was dancing.
R66 you seem surprised that a dancer could be a drunk? Why?
I have a close friend who was at ABT and now works in retail.
The one I knew lived off me for three years, after he retired while deciding what to do next, ''borrowed'' my life savings and disappeared! I truly believe he was a narcissist and sociopath.
My thread emerged again!
It seems that many beautiful ballet dancers don''t need to worry, they ae considered the ultimate trophy wife.
Complain about their sore feet.
Ballet dancers do not retire . . . they just jetee away.
Retired Ballerinas, Central Park West
Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons
walking their dogs
in Central Park West
(or their cats on leashes%E2%80%94
the cats themselves old highwire artists)
leap and pirouette
through Columbus Circle
while winos on park benches
(laid back like drunken Goudonovs)
hear the taxis trumpet together
like horsemen of the apocalypse
in the dusk of the gods
It is the final witching hour
when swains are full of swan songs
And all return through the dark dusk
to their bright cells
in glass highrises
or sit down to oval cigarettes and cakes
in the Russian Tea Room
or climb four flights to back rooms
in Westside brownstones
where faded playbill photos
fall peeling from their frames
like last year%E2%80%99s autumn leaves
A lot of them teach. A lot of the bigger, well known NYC dance companies have schools. Some for all ages and some for teenagers that are serious about dance. NYCB%E2%80%99s (New York City Ballet) is called ABT (Not related to ABT that also dances at Lincoln Center). Many of the teachers are current and retired dancers. Jock Soto was known as a very good but tough teacher. I don%E2%80%99t know if he his still teaching.
There''s nothing more fabulously glam than a beautiful former dancer who marries a wealthy powerful man and becomes a socialite on the Upper East Side. Except maybe a beautiful former model who does the same.
Pat Stevens, former model
This one ballet dancer, who overcame arsenic poisoning that killed her little brother, moved in with a doctor and then he died. \
Then she moved in with her brother.
I think they were fucking
R86: You mean School of American Ballet (SAB) not ABT
I ended up driving a semi truck cross country.. I now spend my nights at waffle house instead of at the lincoln center.. sucks
My life is painful now. I was a dancer, I am a dance teacher now, my wife wants leave me with our 9 year old child. because I don't make a good money. I feel sorry for her although she said it wasn't a reason, however I think it is. well, what can I do? I was a good dancer, I have trained in China, I worked with two great dance companies in New York. Now I don't speak English very well,this is one of the big problems that stopped me go further. I am 50th, but I still can move very well, and I am looks still young. Anyone having any idea about me?
My cousin was a principal dancer at the royal ballet in Copenhagen. She's now a teacher at the royal ballet school.
Male ballet dancers don't usually rack up the injuries that females do, because the males are able to maintain a healthier body weight during their careers. Males in ballet have to stay lean and extremely fit, but not get rail thin. The females have to do that "anorexic/athlete" oxymoron and it really takes a toll on the joints.
[quote]Boris Lermontov: "The Ballet of The Red Shoes" is from a fairy tale by Hans Andersen. It is the story of a young girl who is devoured with an ambition to attend a dance in a pair of Red Shoes. She gets the shoes and goes to the dance. For a time, all goes well and she is very happy. At the end of the evening she is tired and wants to go home, but the Red Shoes are not tired. In fact, the Red Shoes are never tired. They dance her out into the street, they dance her over the mountains and valleys, through fields and forests, through night and day. Time rushes by, love rushes by, life rushes by, but the Red Shoes go on.
Julian Craster: What happens in the end?
[quote]Boris Lermontov: Oh, in the end, she dies.
okay, this isn't ballet, but it is dance. Jadin Wong, who danced at the Forbidden City, and was trained in ballet became a very successful theatrical agent and died a multimillionaire at 97. Streisand used to open for her when she performed in New York.
I am surprised how young many of the guys are when they die.
Seriously, who is bumping all these two-year-old threads?
I was a paralegal in a corporate law firm in the 90s. One of the older paralegals (over 35) was a former modern dancer who'd danced for Twyla Tharp and Trisha Brown, even though she'd trained in classic ballet, and the other (late 40s) was a former Swiss-German model.
It was insane, doing this dumb, thankless job with these incredibly glamorous women.
I don't think a lot of dancers plan on their transition to a non-dancing life.
A high school friend of mine was a premier dancer/soloist with NYCB from the end of high school until about five years or so ago (she had danced with a major company during high school in our city, another major metropolitan area and trained with one of the great American Indian ballerinas). After she retired, she spent some time regrouping, working to raise her children through adolescence (she is married to a successful lawyer, which probably helps), dabbled in high end real estate, and went back and got her BA from Columbia University (she had been accepted at Radcliffe when we were in high school, but deferred so long that she finally had to relinquish her acceptance). She was always very smart, so I think, once the transition from that incredibly scheduled life was over, she has no doubt found interesting things to do.
She probably could have danced another five years well, but made what was probably a smart and sane decision to retire while she was still at the top of her craft and abilities.
r99, Maria, did Mr. B. have a big dick
I checked out this thread as many people are saying my 15 year old son is a very good dancer and many say he should be a "professional" dancer. Master/visitor teachers ALWAYS ask who he is and where he's been trained. The problem is, he's a straight A student always rated #1 out of about 350 in his class (along with the other straight A students). He is very interested in dance but is afraid he won't find a "real job" after 35. He is very good in math and science, wanted to go Harvard, but is enjoying ballet more and more. Oh what to do????? (this is his mother). Thanks people.
99.999999999999R% of all ballet dancer have the AIDS.
Edward Villella is the only AIDS free one. He's straight.
I was a professional dancer for 7 years. I retired early and teach for an income. I am currently studying to be an RN. The sky is limitless. The key is not to give up. You can go into any career. A friend of mine who also retired early is going to law school in the fall. You can do anything you dream of.
I know of one that put out a fitness DVD. It was the ballet instructor on the set of Black Swan. I'm sure the DVD got pretty good attention, riding the publicity of the movie.
"Male ballet dancers don't usually rack up the injuries that females do"
Tell that to the dancer who played Romeo in a Scottish Ballet production of Romeo & Juliet about 25 years ago...
During the "crypt" scene, he managed to lower himself, bum first, onto a free-standing candlestick...
Superbly, he continued dancing, quite unabashed.
He got a standing ovation at the end...
The retired ballet dancer that was my lover liked to suck dick.
For money, R106?
I think it's so unfair that ballet dancers spend years and years slaving away to perfect their technique and then they have to retire so young, having earned so little money. Someone like Zuckerberg should create an endowment for ballet dancers where they can receive $1-2 million while working per year and then have a comfortable pension. I think they deserve so much more than such meager salaries and then obscurity after they retire.
Deutsche marks or dollars, American Express will do nicely thank you!
Seriously? We were lovers, we lived together.
Well, r110, you did say it in answer to the question "What do ballet dancers do after they retire"?
One would naturally presume that they continue to have sex, but the question, I believe, is asking about their careers.
One could not assume you were talking about what they did for an income.
Mine worked at Macy's in NYC for many years. When I met him he was a personal assistant to a wealthy woman.
Professional dancers like Madonna, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez turned to music after their dance careers dried up.
Some of them become dance instructors, the better ones run ballet companies.
I like your idea, R108. And what an ugly (and untrue) thing to say, R102. You should be ashamed.
I temped with a former one who was in excellent physical shape. She told me that she still taught and occasionally took classes for fun but she had started her own fashion design business.
After she got laid off I found out that the incredibly rich attorney she had been dating finally proposed to her and about two months ago her clothing design business really took off and was featured in a couple of art magazines.
This woman was 40 and she was actually very sweet.
Millions of people in their 30s have never had a career at all. Besides those, plenty of careers end earlier than that and people somehow manage to survive. A career isn't everything and sustaining a single one for life isn't a requirement.
I work for the government, my friends have dance studios.
Any broken down ballet dancers, male or female, interested in teaching young beginning male dancers?
I love how people in this thread are MARVELING that someone might start a new career in their 30s. Newsflash: people do this every day.
My best friend from high school, with whom I sort of still keep in touch, is a former professional ballet dancer. She was very talented, but never thin or short enough (she's 5'8") for major roles. She danced with a professional company for nearly a decade, though. She's been dancing since she was a child; she's 39 now and she retired maybe 11 years ago. She is now a chubby frau with several kids that she homeschools. Yes, she comes from a very privileged background; she's never had to work a day in her life outside of dance, and yes, her feet are grotesque.
Some go into fashion, like Bradon on Project Runway.
I used to work for a major internet company in Germany and had 2 male colleagues who were retired dancers. They had been through a good amount of job skills training and were regular computer jockeys. Both straight, mid-40s. One stayed in good physical shape (doing marathons, etc.) and the other was a heavy drinker.
My sister was a dancer. She stopped pretty early though and went to college. But from my years of observing the dance world, I'd say that--yes, a lot of ex-dancers run/teach dance studios and little companies. Being a former principal is not a requirement outside the big companies.
Yes, a lot of the women marry well--those company galas are a good place to meet rich men.
Dancers really aren't all trust-fund babies. It's very hard work and requires sacrificing most of your free time when you're younger. If you're a talented dancer, but have other options, you may drop it for something less strenuous and more lucrative. Of those who stick with it--well, a lot of the girl dancers do, indeed, have stage moms--and stage moms are found in all walks of life. Some others come from crazy, dysfunctional backgrounds and ballet classes are a place of order and kind of a relief. Then you have some who come from dance families and a few who really just love to dance--but the latter's more rare than you think. Ballet dancers start their training early, so someone else is making the decisions in the early years.
And, yes, the men do get injured--they may not have eating disorders or dance en pointe--but jumping is hard on the body. Knee injuries, arthritis, ruptured Achilles tendon--and another danseur's career down the drain. You get the occasional older ballerina dancing into her 40s (and even 60s with Margot Fonteyn and some of the Soviet stars), but you never see it with the men.
I went back to school in my late 30s and became a molecular biologist. lol. There is life after ballet, but it is an very hard emotional switch, since ballet is your whole life/obsession. I still can't go see a performance.
I knew a former ballet dancer who ended up working in Sears. They live, eat, and breathe dancing so much they don't really have many other skills.
I can't believe Alexander Gudnov drank himself to death.
He was one beautiful man.
It's a story so old they should have put it to music years ago.
Oh, wait, they did...
Kiss today goodbye,
The sweetness and the sorrow.
Wish me luck, the same to you.
But I can't regret
What I did for love, what I did for love.
Look my eyes are dry.
The gift was ours to borrow.
It's as if we always knew,
And I won't forget what I did for love,
What I did for love.
Love is never gone.
As we travel on,
Love's what we'll remember.
Kiss today goodbye,
And point me t'ward tomorrow.
We did what we had to do.
Won't forget, can't regret
What I did for
Lyrics by Edward Kleban; music by Marvin Hamlisch
My ballet dancer lover worked at Macy's in Manhattan for a few years and then moved back to his home town in the South West where I met him. He became a personal assistant to a wealthy woman related to Christopher Reeves.