The View From Their Recession

by Chris Bodenner

One-tenth of the corps dancers at NYC Ballet were recently cut:

The layoffs have produced a complicated set of responses among these dancers, who, since childhood, have endured grueling hours of cloistered study to achieve a remarkable level of artistry, a position at the pinnacle of the ballet world and then, suddenly, unemployment: anger mixed with grief but also a sense of new possibility and youthful optimism.

The emotions are especially acute because, more than many other workers, ballet dancers define themselves and their self-worth by their profession. Losing a job is like losing one’s identity.