If, when I was a five-year-old budding ballerina, someone would have said to me that I would grow up to work for a dance company, I would have screamed and cried and laughed with joy. If someone had told me the same when I was attempting to be a pragmatic and professional high school student, I would have scoffed while inwardly cheering. If someone had said it while I was finishing college or in graduate school, I would have cheered and then worried over the potential waste of intellect. Now that I am here, working in a dance company, I am overjoyed.
I work for a modern dance company. Had you figured that out? From my desk in our open, friendly, sunny office I can look into our studio. I get to watch professional dancers, children from local schools, students who come to our school, and random people and groups who rent out the studio for their own purposes. On the other end of the hall are ballerinas, and in between are actors and trainers. Downstairs there is even more dancing going on!
At the end of the day, I can choose to stick around for one of our adult classes for free. Some evenings I get to go enjoy concerts (dance and otherwise) that I hear about or am invited to because of where I work. I get to help make our own performances happen, and those are pretty darn exciting.
And the fear of wasting my potential? Well, on my office monkey days I sometimes feel that way. I won’t lie; some days are simply mind-numbing. But most days are really fun! I have a lot of freedom to define my workload, so I end up doing a lot of design, research, and experimenting with technology. It has to be one of the most fun environments to work in. I am also making lots of contacts in the nonprofit sphere, so when it is time to move on I have ideas for who to talk to and what positions to look for.
Even on my tango off-days, I am still surrounded by dance. (Does anyone want to hear about this piece of my dance life? I can write more about the dancing that goes on in my workplace, but if there isn’t an audience for it I’ll try to stick more to the tango-related subjects I started with.)