Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner
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Actress Ann-Margret at the Career Transition For Dancers 2013 annual gala event, “Broadway & Beyond.” Photo by Richard Termine
Anyone who has seen Dirty Dancing remembers the scene of Patrick Swayze lifting up Jennifer Grey in the film’s finale. While the movie glamorized the romance of a dancer’s life, it failed to show the tough reality that many dancers face today. There are more than 25,000 professional dancers currently working in the United States, with an average annual salary less than $24,000 and an average retirement age of 34 (without benefits). The challenges that dancers experience often go unnoticed or underappreciated, but one organization is working to make a difference for these artists.
Career Transition For Dancers, a spring 2014 MAXIMUS Foundation grant awardee, provides free resources for every stage of a dancer’s career. These resources range from support groups to educational scholarships, career counseling, entrepreneurial grants and more. The organization was founded in 1985 in New York City and has since expanded to offer a variety of services across the U.S. On top of supporting its 6,200 active clients, Career Transition For Dancers has helped thousands of dancers discover rewarding second careers. To learn more about their work, check out their website here.