Harper, Simon (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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The critical, comparative study investigated similarities and differences in professional ballet company dancers' and musical theatre independent dancers' experiences of career transition and similarities and differences in dancers’, employers’ and dancers’ support agencies’ perceptions of career transition support systems (CTSS). The original study was the first to compare dancers’ career transitions from two contrasting arenas. As a former independent dancer, currently employed in a ballet company, I noticed differences in the dissemination of CTSS. Dancers’ career transitions are under-researched, particularly the transitions of musical theatre dancers. (Levine, 2004, Jeffri & Throsby, 2006, Carroll et al, 2009, Roncaglia, 2010). By drawing parallels between an adaptation to transition model (Schlossberg, 1981) and a sport career termination model (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994), a conceptual framework was modified and operationalised for the current study. A critical, interpretative paradigm and mixed-method approach, facilitated the examination through open-ended questionnaires sent to twenty five retired company dancers and twenty five retired independent dancers. Semi-structured interviews were initiated with three retired company and three retired independent dancers, one company dancers’ employer, one independent dancers’ employer and two Directors of dancers’ support agencies. Content analysis of triangulated quantitative and qualitative data highlighted dancers concerns at transition, particularly psychological,financial and educational issues.
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