The Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC) and Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) have recently announced their success in securing a major $250,300 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Funding will support a substantial three-year initiative uniting the dance and sports communities. This exceptional collaborative opportunity will explore challenges unique to high-performance athletes and professional dancers transitioning to new careers.
The careers of dancers and athletes can be precarious. While, in recent years, many dancers have begun to enjoy increased longevity in their careers, a sudden or eventual transition away from performing is inevitable. Whether this transition is planned and gradual or the result of an abrupt injury, it means significant change in the life of the professional. “Transitioning doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the field entirely,” observes Amanda Hancox, executive director of the DTRC. “This career is so rigorous and starts so young, when it becomes time to leave … there is often a loss of identity, a loss of family — you are leaving this small community. There are also financial changes.”
This unprecedented collaboration between the DTRC and CSIO will address some of these issues, facilitating cross-sector sharing of knowledge and resources in areas of research, education and outreach. It will focus on commonalities and opportunities for future partnerships. What effect will this program have on dancers and what kinds of services will it offer? “That is the project, really,” laughs Hancox, “how we work together is really part of the exploration, we don’t know what the outcome will be.” Whatever the outcome, it is clear this project will be essential to securing the vitality of Ontario’s cultural ambassadors, our athletes and dance artists.~