My life in dance has had its share of indecision, relocation, changes in direction involving two returns to school, and many years of living poor. The circuitous route I took to stay in the field made me into entrepreneurial artist and teacher and finally, a member of a university dance faculty. I wanted to live outside New York City and have a “professional” career in modern dance, and as a result, my path has involved figuring things out as I went along: learning what was necessary to make a journey full of twists and turns, even though it was not always easy to see where the next step should take me. Financially, the desire to dance trumped any economic ambitions, but even so, the difficulties and the lack of encouragement for artists in this culture—especially dancers—often made life hard, although I did have the benefit of family support in the early years. In this article I am suggesting that we break down the barriers between the academy and the real world in a serious way, by teaching what we know about staying in the field in spite of the twists and turns life provides. Before they leave our care, we do our best to thoroughly prepare our dance education majors for work in the schools. I think we need to give young artists more preparation than simply learning to dance.
Journal of Dance Education