The Unexpected Side Effects of Losing Your Dance Gig

August 8, 2017

Getting fired isn’t pretty, but it happens. And no matter the reason, there are ways to rebuild your dance career. But don’t be caught off guard by these potential repercussions from losing your job:

Being the elephant in the room.

Erik Tomasson

You may need to show up to work for a period of time after learning that you won’t be back next season. “I still had to rehearse with the same people, who had all heard what happened,” says Ballet San Antonio’s Kathleen Martin, who was previously let go from Ballet West. “It was difficult to be professional, but it helped motivate me to move on.”

Cash-flow issues.

Jim Lafferty

“I spent all my money to fly all over the country and audition,” says Martin. “At one point I had to take a $3 Megabus and arrived just in time to walk right into the studio.”

Conflicting emotions.


You may find it confusing to realize you’re happy and sad at the same time. “Your frontal cortex matures to deal with ambiguity,” explains Patch Schwadron, senior career counselor with Career Transition for Dancers. “You may be in pain, but you might also feel excited to have some time to go to Europe for a few weeks.”