The Beginning

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This wasn’t going to be a personal blog…

But seeing as though I’m on the journey right now, I figured it may be interesting to discuss my personal observations along with the interviews.

Because, somewhere between having a baby and turning 35, my mind began racing… and hasn’t stopped.

And to be clear, it isn’t happening now, not yet, but I feel the weight of it slowly creeping up behind me… which I suppose is why this all came about.

I’ve been a professional ballet dancer for almost 18 years. My company of dancers, those who have come and gone and those who I still stand next to onstage, are as close as family. We share concerns, hopes, dreams, practically everything.

However, one topic still remains relatively taboo, still spoken about in hushed tones. Maybe over a bottle of wine at a late night dinner party the conversation takes a turn for the more serious, the air changes, the volume lowers to almost a whisper…

What are you going to do when you stop dancing?

The person asking almost desperate to know the concern is a shared one. You may only bring it up to certain dancers, the more mature ones, the ones who’ve been there awhile. Wary to admit it’s on your mind. As if to acknowledge it is to take away from your 100% dedication to your artist self.

Retirement.

The word sends a shutter down my spine… what will I do next? Who am I if not a ballerina?

This isn’t a career transition blog, or it didn’t set out to be one per say, but that is part of the journey to discovering what I am interested in. Which is, once outside of the bubble of being a dedicated artist, what is left and what do we have as artists that is transferable to the “real world”?

Not only what is transferable but how do you become a commanding leading woman offstage as much as you were on? And even beyond all that… why are so few of these onstage leading women stepping up to leadership positions offstage?

So I guess the idea of this blog is threefold. To share the journey of incredible female artists beyond the stage, to showcase the unique attributes artists inherently have, and to discuss how to leverage them off the stage in leadership positions.

But most importantly, I want to share these stories to empower my generation and future generations of female artists to have the much needed conversations and to step forward and lead.

Thanks for joining me on my journey in showcasing how powerful Artistic LeadHERship can be.

22 thoughts on “The Beginning

  1. Kathleen – As an outsider but a great admirer of the art of ballet I cannot even come close to feeling what a dedicated ballet dancer, such as yourself, must be feeling when thinking of an “after career”. When one loves the ballet as much as you do and it is your life’s fulfillment to find as much enjoyment in a second artistic profession must take years of soul searching. Therefore, I think the subject, now spoken about in hushed tones when among your artist friends, should be more openly discussed. To optimistically discuss, plan and prepare (even if only in one’s mind at this point) another artistic career is something, I feel, will ease the transsition when the time comes.

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  2. This is a beautiful initiative from a beautiful leader. As someone 5+ yrs past my life as a dancer, these topics continue to call for my attention and I’m so glad to see this artful act of turning a light on- making room for discussion, for community and creation.

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  3. You have been so successful on stage, that your next phase will logically be successful as well! Your talent cannot be duplicated, but the future of another ballet dancer will be be brighter with the knowledge you can share.

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  4. God has blessed you with beauty, brains and talent and you have a very strong work ethic.
    You could do anything you set your mind to. I remember you as a child model of dancewear…that could be expanded to a profession in many ways. You have a college degree which could be utilized. You write very well….perhaps a book. And, there is always the possibility of teaching ballet, ballet mistress, directing a company. Your possibilities are endless. You certainly don’t need my advice. I will enjoy reading your blog as you work your way through your numerous possibilities. Best wishes!

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