Thursday, November 26, 2020
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It's called transitioning, not retiring

Last post I mentioned Canada’s darling, Karen Kain. She’s done so much for dance in this country, and best of…

By Melanie Kuxdorf , in Blogs Struggle and Strife: A Dancer's Life , on February 13, 2008

Last post I mentioned Canada’s darling, Karen Kain. She’s done so much for dance in this country, and best of all, she’s done tonnes for dancers.

I gripe. I gripe and gripe and gripe. I gripe because thing’s are unfair cause we’re in the arts, cause we’re female, cause we’re underfunded, cause we’re pushed around, cause we’re powerless and cause I’m sick to death of that twinkle in the eye when guys ask me what kind of dance I do. Grrrrrr!

So, what is being done?

The DTRC, that’s what. Karen Kain was founding president of the Dancer’s in Transition Resource Centre. It was started to help dancers “transition” to another career after retiring at 35. They now also help dancers at any level in their career, with anything to subsidized health care to skills training and scholarships. It’s a good thing people.

Karen Kain

Although it’s hard, sometimes, to feel like a dancer at all in Vancouver. Here there are so few dance jobs and contracts rarely last more than two or three months. It feels like we’re all semi-retired already, and the traumatic transition occurred after graduation. Something’s got to give. Truly, I will stop griping when there’s nothing left to gripe about.

I’d go and run off with the circus, but I can’t even audition unless I’m over 5’4″! (That’s a whole other ism)

Next post, I might just go join Facebook (those who know me will understand this is a BIG DEAL), to see what the “Defeated and Unmotivated Dancers Support Group” is up to. I hear they’ve got 49 members, so far.

Read this great Maissoneuve interview, from 2006, where Karen talks about the dance boom, and bust.