Sideline Ballerina Turned Corporate Entertainer

My name is Susie. From age 6 to 16 I increasingly became involved with ballet. Like lots of little girls, the dream of being Clara in a big-city Nutcracker ballet performance loomed as a goal for many of us in the dance classes. The older and more developed we became as skilled point dancers, the more demands and opportunities to perform came our way – including the Nutcracker. I was never picked to be Clara but enjoyed numerous fun and challenging roles in the performances.

It was a pretty grueling experience, but one that usually ends with no fame or fortune for budding ballerinas. As a matter of fact, the stage hands who open and close the stage curtains during performances made 2-3 times more money than even a prima ballerina for a company production. And by about age 23, most high performance ballerinas are sidelined from their career aspirations with injured knees or feet – often having no college credit, and perhaps not even a high school diploma to show for it.

But the love of dancing never goes away for a highly trained ballerina. Enter Sideline. While managing a popular Deli on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, one of my favorite customers happened to see me spin a double pirouette, with good form, on the way back to the kitchen to fetch a latte. He followed up by asking about my dancing, if I still danced for fun, and my interest in continuing to perform. At his urging, not mine, he asked if I might be interested in doing “corporate entertaining” along with a violin or viola player he also knew.

He basically crafted my Sideline for me. He knew performing ballet was fun for me, that I was good at it, and that at an evening corporate event it would provide a fabulous and unique sidebar activity. He offered to pay me $1,000 for a 10-minute performance provided I worked up a routine with the string player that he and two colleagues could observe in a rehearsal prior to the event. He did, we did, and it went very well. My Sideline was born – I increased my dancing as party of a local company, trained budding stars privately on a fee basis, and used the experience to craft new programs. Admittedly, I tried almost none at all to promote my “Ballet Entertainment for Corporations” program, but word of mouth kept me busy for several years. I finally quit doing it because I became involved in another Sideline, buying and selling unique antiques online from Estate Sales. That’s another story.

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