Why I stopped being a professional dancer (for now)

During the past six months I found myself tired of the dancer routine. It can be exhausting to chase after jobs and going to auditions, keeping up with your training and try to make a decent amount of money. I was starting to feel the burn out and felt that I needed a change.

During that time, something else happened: I started being interested in many other things, that required time (like this blog), so I decided it was time to make a pause on some aspects of my life in order to create room for new amazing things!

And I want to tell you all about it…

I wasn’t making enough money

After two amazing years of traveling and dancing I decided to settle down in the city I was born in (Buenos Aires) and see what happened next, at least for a while.

I was lucky enough to dance in three plays that I really liked but the problem with the plays I was dancing in is that they were from an independent dance company, a quite good one, but independent theater is usually low budget, which means I was spending lots of time rehearsing and performing and making very little money in return.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dance just for the money but a girl has to eat right?

via GIPHY

Money doesn’t always make you happy

The fashionable dancer

I then figured I had to start doing things that help me make more money, which meant less project I am passionate about, but it was still dancing!

So I started teaching, which I love, but I decided I don’t want too many classes, otherwise I would get very tired and very bored sooner than later.

Another thing I started doing was auditioning to jobs where I could actually make a decent income, like TV commercials, bigger productions and other type of paid dancing jobs.

The thing about these types of auditions is that they are very time-consuming, sometimes you can be auditioning for one role for a whole day and not get a call back. When you do get a job is pretty sweet but after a short amount of time I realized that I didn’t really enjoy this kind of job too much after all.

Many dancers love being on TV or in big productions, and it is a lot of fun, but it wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t feel connected to the way I like to dance.

I still want to learn SO MUCH

Even though I’ve been dancing for almost 15 years I still want to take new classes of different styles I am fascinated with, and at the same time I want to keep training in those I am already good at.

This requires times and lots of energy!

When I was studying, I used to wake up at 8AM, dance from 9-2PM non-stop, go home, eat, have a shower, and then dance some more! I also studied a lot from books, videos, etc.

Now I find that I am only able to take classes during the evening once a day if I am lucky, but I usually finish extremely tired, specially if I had a lot of work to do during the day.

reiki healing

And I realize that I want to learn other stuff that doesn’t necessarily relate to dance. I started learning a healing technique called Reiki. At first, I took beginners course because I felt curious and thought that it could help me with the recovery of my body. Soon I started reading books and taking advanced courses. I became fascinated with its effects in myself and started practicing on others.

I had a new passion and I could help so many people with it!

I have to admit that it felt strange in the beginning, I have always been focused on dance, on getting better, on making up for the time I “lost” for starting late. I’ve always enjoyed other stuff as well, but every time I travel I used to think “Where is the nearest dance studio in this city?” o “How can I use this to improve my dancing?”.

This time it was different, as I became more and more involved with my practice I realized that I still want to dance but the way I was working didn’t allow this new passion to fit into my life.

But how could it fit into my life?

I changed my game plan

After a few months of performing reiki sessions for free to friends and family I took the plunge and started charging for it. More and more clients started to come by recommendations, people was curious about the benefits of Reiki. To my surprise, many dancers wanted to see what Reiki could do for them.

I had a powerful tool on my hand and I decided it was time for me to make some changes in my life, so after a lot of thinking and meditation I asked myself “What would my ideal day would look like?” and I started making my new vision a reality!

This is what my day usually looks like now:

  • I wake up at around 8-9 and have breakfast and do 40min yoga session. Sometimes on my own, sometimes at a studio nearby.
  • I check my emails and work on this blog
  • I perform around 2-3 reiki sessions a day. Sometimes distance reiki (it is possible and very effective) and other times in person.
  • I teach contemporary dance three times a week at a studio near my house.
  • During the evening I take dance classes: I always take contemporary and ballet and I am trying a new heels class that is so amazing!
  • I perform a reiki session on myself every day before going to sleep.

Life can be unpredictable

A year ago I didn’t know that my life would be like this. A year ago I was running from city to city to different auditions and was hoping I could get into a company. I never got any long term contract as I expected.

And it’s ok.

Sometimes you have a plan and then it doesn’t happen. That doesn’t mean you fail. It just means you have to take a different road.

I am not saying that I don’t want to dance professionally anymore, because I really do love it, but I was starting to feel the burn out and I didn’t want to dance just because I needed a pay check by the end of the month.

You never really stop being a dancer!

I am very thankful that I made this changes into my life and now I can work on dance projects that I actually like and want to be a part of without worrying about how much money I am going to make.

And I get to work on this website and help many people curious on dance as well!

It’s a win-win for everyone, don’t you think?

Did something like this ever happen to you? Let me know in the comments below!

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