For anyone who's danced a 5-6-7-8, then moved on to Count 9.
The mission is to inspire listeners with insight into career transitions and success stories both inside and outside creative industries. Host Benjamin Goodly danced professionally for 5 years and is now a Senior Process Engineer at a Fortune 100 Corporation. Along with guest interviews featuring former dancers and performers with thriving 2nd careers, Benjamin brings listeners along on his new career venture - becoming a published author.
Stephanie knew throughout her dance career that she wanted an ambitious 2nd career outside the dance industry. While pursuing her degree through the LEAP program, a professor asked if she was considering a career in writing, based on her talents. She got started writing marketing copy at Lincoln Center while still performing at the Met Opera - traipsing between her desk and rehearsals. After landing a dream job at Wonderbound in Colorado, a career-ending injury forced her into Count 9, so she networked her way into newsrooms by leveraging her expertise covering the arts. Now she is an arts reporter at WFPL in Louisville KY, balancing breaking news with her love for covering the arts and a side projects producing the innovative DIY Dancer magazine. Follow her @StephRWolf on twitter & instagram, and check out DIYdancer.com (@diydancermag)
When Liezel ("Liz") and Jonathan started planning their lives together, working one day at a time to get out of debt and save for a house, a close friend helped them realize their dancer discipline was accelerating their journey to financial success. They dove into educating themselves about money the same way they've gone all-in their whole lives across diverse careers. Liz pursued gig work, choreography, dance education, kinesiology, and academic ethnography all at the same time, ending up with a diverse portfolio of incomes spanning professor appointments as a hip hop educator and continued gig work through her agent. Jonathan challenged himself to go further than he ever thought possible within his dance community while he experimented with different healthcare professions then turned his interest in movement into a successful career by powering through a demanding physical therapy assistant program. Now, they are empowering the arts community as wealth coaches - leveraging their knowledge and relationship-based approach to meet clients wherever they're at in their financial journey. Connect with them @jlfinancialcoaching and https://www.jlfinancialcoaching.com/ . And if you love their energy as much as we do, make sure to follow along their other pursuits @jonathan_lorico , @laydeeliz , and https://liezelmarie.com/
Kim Hale is a multi-hyphenate publicist and entertainer with an inspiring story of being resourceful and open to possibilities. She loved feathers and a fierce bevel as a dancer, which propelled her to La Cage aux Folles, Vegas, and Broadway. As she gained perspective about the emotional roller coaster of auditions and casting, and as she learned from inspiring women like Ann Reinking and Debbie Allen, she allowed herself to step back as needed. She became an educator, talent agent, and now a publicist and business owner as opportunities arose. Now, her performance career is experiencing a renaissance as she's learned to celebrate her demographic (women over 50) and stitch her communications and creative passions together through social media. Follow her dance content @mskimhale and her flourishing public relations company @kimhalepr or www.kimhalepr.com
Sophia Kozak's love of dance is rooted in its healing power. While starting a dance therapy non-profit organization, she earned a Counseling degree and became a multi-hyphenate professional, earning across multiple streams of income. When Career Transitions for Dancers needed a Western region career counselor to join their team, Sophia was a perfect fit. Career Transitions for Dancers is now part of The Actors Fund, and Sophia provides an excellent overview of different services available to empower dancers. These include things Career Transitions for Dancers is known for - grants and career counseling - and also things like financial coaching and mid-career strategy sessions for dancers not looking to retire. Learn more at actorsfund.org or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This special podcast episode is a collaboration with Pivot For Dancer's "Pivot Panels" series. Founder Kaylee Randall joins host Benjamin Goodly to interview Jennifer Cavanaugh and Vimala Jacy Jeffrey-Howe about their transitions from ballet into nursing. Both panelists have found joy in this new career and describe through their personal stories how a dance career prepared them well for nursing.
This special episode features a career transition story that began out of necessity at the start of the Pandemic. Sheina Raskin fell in love with dance as an adult through her love of travel. After a harsh awakening to the audition scene, Sheina started plotting her own course across the globe, leveraging her marketing degree as a source of income that enabled the flexibility to train and grow as a dancer. Just before the pandemic, she had worked a 6-month contract at a resort - the culmination of what she'd been working toward for so long. But the achievement didn't spark the passion Sheina expected, so she doubled down on charting her own course, partnering with an international chain of resorts to offer her own dance workshops. When COVID prevented this unique employment from coming to fruition, she needed time to reflect and incubate her next move rather than jumping into something else right away. The result was well worth the wait - Sheina now offers masterful social media marketing coaching and services for all sorts of dance entrepreneurs. Learn more @sheinaraskin on instagram and her Facebook group The Dance Entrepreneur Club.
John Michael Schert had a storied start to his dance career, landing a coveted position at American Ballet Theatre. But quickly he realized his passion lie not in perfecting the ballet vocabulary but in creating new, contemporary vocabulary - a realization that took him to Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, and ultimately to the Trey McIntyre Project. John Michael led the administration of TMP and was able to launch this executive experience into a diverse post-performance career including university teaching positions, a consultancy business, and international scholarship as an Eisenhower Fellow. Connect with his career on Linked In and on Instagram @nonmimel.
Allie danced with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Masa in Israel. She embodied grit throughout her career, pushing through the pain until she tore the Labrum in her hip. After this career ending injury, Allie decided to learn as much as she could about body mechanics - how a dancer should move to be their best dancer self and to have a long, healthy relationship with their body. Now with her breakthrough, innovative approaches, she is an elite physical trainer for dancers with a thriving business in Orange County. Align Fitness by Allie also leads the industry with digital offerings for clients all over the globe. Learn more at alignfitnessbyallie.com or on instagram @alignfitnessbyallie. Allie is passionate about empowering dancers with the information she wished she had as a dancer, so be sure to also check out her podcast "Beyond the Pointe" on your favorite podcast app.
Also mentioned in the episode:
When Victoria burnt out on performing, she didn't know where to turn next. By chasing podcasts from one to another and by seeking community, she found a self-discovery course with Kathy Heller of the Don't Keep Your Day Job podcast. She discovered that her strategic strengths were especially valuable to other participants as a coach, and that she felt very energized by it. Now Victoria is a specialized coach for creatives, helping them come back to themselves when navigating their careers. Learn more at www.victoriahines.com
Benjamin Goodly narrates his latest short story, which was just accepted and published in the Seattle Star. Sign up for Benjamin's email list at benjamingoodly.com for future updates about publication dates and discounts. The story can be found in print form at https://www.seattlestar.net/2021/02/smoke-and-lights/
Catherine went the "safe" route after high school and earned an industrial engineering degree from USC. When she graduated into a recession, she couldn't find a job, so she decided to pursue a career on the stage. She went on to land roles in several tours and Broadway shows. When she felt the need to get choosier with her performing, she tried working for a startup and was attracted to the way software engineers are in demand and can work on their own terms. Through several starts and stops, including a few more Broadway roles, she completed a coding bootcamp and got started as a software engineer at Stitch Fix. When the pandemic hit, she founded the Slack community Artists Who Code with her husband to empower more artists to find flexible, meaningful work in tech at any stage of their performance career. Learn more at www.artistswhocode.com and follow Catherine @cattricafort.
John's boyish charm and dedication to yoga extended his commercial dance career into his forties. Personal and professional experiences throughout that time revealed his strengths as a comforting presence and in getting people to open up, especially teens. So when the time was right, he got his master's degree and became a licensed therapist. John's passion for his new career has propelled him into advocacy and activism - he now splits his time between clients, building his practice, and speaking engagements. Learn more at https://johnsovec.com, and follow him on twitter and instagram.
Francis and Lauren Veyette have had illustrious careers as principal dancers. When they were asked to coach a YAGP variation remotely for a student in Kansas, their passion for holistic training and desire to expand access to professional training, regardless of location, quickly grew into an innovative new studio: the Veyette Virtual Ballet School. Francis and Lauren train students not only in technique, but also the mental, physical and emotional tools they'll need in the competitive ballet industry. Since the start of the pandemic, VVBS has expanded its offerings, bringing new entrepreneurial challenges and rewards. Learn more at veyettevirtualballetschool.com, and follow @veyettevirtualballetschool on Instagram.
Kaylee danced for Orlando theme parks and Royal Caribbean before deciding she wanted a more balanced life and a less stressful relationship with dance. While aboard the ship, she started blogging and was able to leverage that to land some articles for Dance Spirit Magazine. She then built a freelance writing career focused on content marketing in the arts and fitness. Now, she's founded Pivot for Dancers, helping dancers find meaningful work off the stage and building community between dancers throughout the transition process. Learn more and join the community at pivotfordancers.com
Season 1 of the Count 9 Podcast ends with a focus on concrete resources for your career transition. First, Pivot for Dancers is a comprehensive new community founded by Kaylee Randall. Learn more at pivotfordancers.com. Then, host Benjamin Goodly interviews the program directors and coordinators for the LEAP program at St. Mary's College. The Liberal Education for Arts Professionals (LEAP) Program provides professional dancers and other performing artists a unique path to access higher education. Learn more at https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/liberal-education-for-arts-professionals-leap
Erin danced professionally for Colorado Ballet and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. When stress and pressure in the studio overpowered her love of the ballet movement, Erin knew it was time to move on. In college, despite liking English more than math throughout high school, she enjoyed her physics class most. A career-oriented mindset then steered her into electrical and computer engineering. She found work in Silicon Valley where she protects major tech companies from cybersecurity threats. Follow Erin @outdoorsbynature.
For any listeners curious about how computer programming can be a great fit for creatives, check out this blog post I wrote in college: https://helix.northwestern.edu/blog/2014/05/storytelling-binary
Since we recorded our interview, Brett was awarded the inaugural Alexa Rose Foundation Fellowship, so I had to catch up with him and get chapter 2 of the story! He's also remained active as a dancer and talks about a film project that just wrapped with LED Boise. Follow Brett's journey @btperry, @meadowlarkfarmidaho, @ledboise, and @alexarosefoundation.
Brett Perry built a freelance dance career from his adopted home base of Boise Idaho by cultivating relationships with top choreographers. With the disruption of COVID, he saw an opportunity in not being able to travel for an entire growing season. He took his longtime involvement with Meadowlark Farm to the next level, leading the season for several crops. His vision for a deeper connection between dance and farming continues to bear fruit. Since our interview, he's been awarded a major fellowship from the Alexa Rose Foundation to fuse his two careers for the benefit of both communities. Follow along with Brett's journey @btperry, @meadowlarkfarmidaho, and at www.alexarosefoundation.org/alexa-rose-fellow
David danced for the Eugene Ballet / Ballet Idaho Joint Venture and was a founding member of Oklahoma City Ballet under the direction of Robert Mills. When a shoulder injury ended his career as a sought-out partner, his love for the arts and the OKCB organization led him to pick up whatever administrative help the company needed. He quickly learned to apply his no-fail performer's mentality to arts administration, and established his career in development at the University of Oklahoma. Learn more about David on Facebook, Instagram, and Linked in.
Kathi has a passion for helping people be confident in their bodies. She started her career at San Francisco Ballet, then went on to become a principal at Oregon Ballet Theatre. When she was ready to have children, she quickly realized her opportunities onstage would be appreciated more by her up-and-coming colleagues. Since retiring, she's developed a comprehensive portfolio of practices to help clients connect mind, body, and spirit. Learn more at https://www.eatbreathepilates.com/
Nel Shelby's spiritual approach has cultivated a flourishing career from her love of dance. After touring with a youth performance ensemble, she completed a double major in Dance and Film Production from Stephens College. Then in New York City, she forged a unique path that brought her two passions, film and dance, together. Now she's the owner of Nel Shelby Productions, one of the leading production companies for making dance accessible on screen and for virtual events during COVID, including virtual festivals for Jacob's Pillow and Vail Dance Festival. Learn more at www.nelshelby.com and @nelshelby on Instagram.
Mentioned in the episode, watch this Up with People Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skK1CKKlc0M
Jesse's work as AGMA union rep for Colorado Ballet led him to the legal profession when the time was right to transition away from dance. He applied successfully to Penn Law School and returned to Colorado after graduation. He recently began a sought-after clerkship for the Colorado Supreme Court, and he has mentored other dancers through their law school applications.
Rob and Chandra met as dancers at Colorado Ballet. Rob transitioned to teaching in his twenties, and Chandra recently retired after a 23-year career and 12 years as principal at Colorado Ballet. Along the way, they strategized a step-by-step business plan that led to a buy-out of an established dance studio with help from the United States Small Business Association. They've since made the Denver Academy of Ballet flourish by playing to their individual strengths, committing to managing the studio like any other business, and providing a supportive home where their students know they have a place. Learn more on Instagram @denveracademyofballet and @crkuykendall and at http://www.denveracademyofballet.com/
Jennifer spent her entire dance career at Dance Theater of Harlem under the direction of Arthur Mitchell. When the demands of her performance career became unsustainable, Jennifer sought a new career that helped people directly like the arts. Through a program at her community college that placed students in research labs, Jennifer discovered the field of Psychology and the rewards of Academia. She went on to earn a PhD and join the faculty of Wayne State University, where she carries forward Arthur Mitchell's fight against injustice through her research in Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory. Learn more about Jennifer at http://jmgomez.org and any of the links below. Co-Editor Journal of Trauma & Dissociation special issue: Discrimination, Violence, & Healing in Marginalized Communities https://dynamic.uoregon.edu/jjf/jtd/discrimination.html Research Committee Chair, Board of Directors Center for Institutional Courage, 501(3)c non-profit https://www.institutionalcourage.org Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory: Web- http://jmgomez.org Article- https://theconversation.com/the-unique-harm-of-sexual-abuse-in-the-black-community-114948 Interview- https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gdtg Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia https://upcolorado.com/utah-state-university-press/item/3794-presumed-incompetent-ii Profiles: https://clasprofiles.wayne.edu/profile/gn4270 https://mpsi.wayne.edu/profile/gn4270
Meredith danced on Broadway, film, and TV, including Twyla Tharp's "Come Fly Away," Wicked, Black Swan, and Smash. Achieving broad success gave her the perspective she needed to retire when injuries, personal priorities, and financial pressure all collided. After struggling to finish college quickly and redefine her identity, she got connected to a medical device company that seeks out former athletes and performers for their sales teams. Meredith found rewarding parallels to performing in the dynamic world of medical sales and quickly found her footing. Now she's moving up the ranks and taking on management responsibilities.
Zachary danced for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and BJM Danse Montréal. When his mindset about dance evolved, separating movement from performance, he felt empowered to embark on a career transition. Through years of cultivating connections and absorbing expert feedback, Zachary built a career as a dance journalist and specialist in communications for non-profits. He is now a regular contributor to Dance Magazine and is Director of Communications for the Chicago Architecture Center.
Follow Zachary @trailerpilot, and read his articles at https://www.dancemagazine.com/u/zacharywhittenburg and https://trailerpilot.com/ .
The Count 9 Podcast is taking a break for labor day. Catch up this week with episodes you may have missed! And to hold you over until next week, this bonus episode includes one more preview chapter from Smoke and Lights, narrated by host Benjamin Goodly. In episode 6, Cass was introduced getting ready for a performance with the fictional Midwest Professional Touring Ballet. Now in the next chapter, Roy is introduced at his new desk job.
Peter Kurta is a recent retiree from Smuin Ballet. Capturing his fresh perspective on the end of his dance career is an important part of the Count 9 mission to make transition stories accessible to current dancers. After his interview, the show introduces the recurring College Q&A segment, a resource for listeners to get advice about college admissions and financial aid from higher-ed professionals. Producer David Goodly worked in undergraduate admissions for eight years, and his sister Sara Donnelly is Interim Director of Financial Aid at Case Western Medical School after a previous position in undergraduate financial aid. Listeners can submit questions for future Q&A episodes at the "contact" page of www.count9podcast.com
Resources mentioned in the episode for making informed decisions about college are: www.nacacnet.org, www.collegeboard.org, and www.act.org
Danielle's ballet career spanned her early twenties between an undergraduate dance & chemistry double-major at Smith College and medical school at University of Colorado. While dancing, teaching ballet to kids and teens showed her how the mind-body medical connection can impact child development. So when she was ready for a steadier career, she applied to medical school to become that crucial caretaker that can make or break a child's recovery with a holistic view. Now, she is a resident physician in Tufts Medical Center's pediatrics, psychiatry, and child/adolescent psychiatry triple-board certification program. She fosters a growing interest in dance movement therapy and has a passion for humanizing doctors through her instagram @dancindrdanielle.
Danielle and host Benjamin Goodly geek out about science, including a special shout out to the collaboration at Yale University between dance professor Emily Coates and particle physicist Sara Demers. Discover the Higgs boson through their work: https://vimeo.com/82400379
Waeli Wang was recently appointed as Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at University of Kansas. In her interview, she describes phasing in and out of different dance experiences throughout her twenties. She fell in love with teaching as a pole instructor and competitor, but after struggling to identify with the commercial dance world in LA and the dance department at her undergrad university, Waeli left dance to become a filmmaker in NYC. Then through a context-shifting experience, she rediscovered experimental theater and movement as tools for identity research. Her awakening then blossomed into a passion for auto-ethnography, leading her to an MFA at the University of California at Irvine and a choreographic fellowship in the bay area before her latest academic appointment.
You can learn more about Waeli at www.waeliwang.com
Heather Britt established a thriving freelance career in San Francisco with several modern dance companies before returning to her hometown of Cincinnati to teach, choreograph, and start a family. She talks about breaking all the rules and turning her unique vision of health, happiness, and connection through dance into her business DANCEFIX.
Learn more about Heather at heatherbrittdance.com and dancefixcincinnati.com, and join in the experience with her new online offering DANCEFIX Live.
Also check out womenofcincy.org/home/heather-britt for even more interesting stories of Heather's resilience and rule-breaking, including quitting dance before finding it again on her own terms in San Francisco.
Reginald danced with Ballet Austin and River North Dance Chicago after trainee positions at Pennsylvania Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet. He talks about starting his career in social work based on a personality test, then finding ways to work upstream to the root of the problem as a patterns emerged in his work. Now, he's taking his career to the next level with a campaign for Cincinnati City Council.
You can learn more about Reginald at:
Welcome to the Count 9 podcast! In this solo episode, host Benjamin Goodly tells his own career transition story, talks about his new career venture becoming a published author, and describes the motivation and format for the show.