Today we are pleased to announce a partnership with Career Transition For Dancers! In the coming months you’ll be hearing more about this wonderful organization as we post a regular feature highlighting the work that they do in their offices across the country.
We begin with an interview with Maryellen Langhout, LPC, NBCCC – the career counselor in the Chicago office…
1. What is Career Transition For Dancers?
Career Transition For Dancers is the only nonprofit organization in the US solely dedicated to the career needs of dancers. With offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and a mobile National Outreach Project, we have helped thousands of dancers take their first steps in discovering rewarding second careers.
Career Transition For Dancers arose out of a partnership of several foundations and unions, including the National Endowment for the Arts, AFL-CIO Labor Institute for Human Enrichment, and Actors’ Equity Association. Under the leadership of Agnes de Mille, this partnership led to the development and presentation of a conference held in 1982 at Lincoln Center to discuss the need to assist dancers both during and at the end of their careers. The goal of the conference was to find ways to help dancers make use of their individual backgrounds, talents and skills on and off the stage.
2. How did it get started?
Career Transition For Dancers was founded in 1985 by Edward Weston and was originally administered as an initiative of The Actors Fund in New York City. The program was also supported by Actors’ Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Guild of Musical Artists, and the Screen Actors Guild. The funding provided by these organizations continues today. The original program provided career counseling and scholarship support for the members of these unions who were in the process of transition. In 1988, Career Transition For Dancers became a self-governing 501(c)(3) organization with a refocused mission to help all dancers, not just union members.
3. What is your role in the organization?
As a professional career counselor, my primary role is to assist dancers in discovering other rewarding careers. I also offer academic advising and practical assistance with resumes and job searches.
4. Where are you located and what are your hours?
We’re located inside the Lou Conte Dance Studio, adjacent to Hubbard Street Dance Center, 1147 W. Jackson Boulevard. We’re near the Racine Blue Line stop and also on the Jackson 126 busline. We’re currently offering counseling in person and by phone Mondays 2-7 pm and Thursdays 12-5 pm. For our office hours in New York City and Los Angeles, either in person or over the phone.
5. Who do you serve?
We serve all dancers — pre-professional, professional and post-professional — age 16 and up. The Midwest office serves dancers not only in Chicago and Illinois but also: Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
Counselors and the NYC and LA offices serve dancers in the eastern and western states.
6. How can people support the organization?
Please spread the word. Encourage your dancer friends to use our services. And please join our National Facebook page so you’ll receive information about opportunities to volunteer and donate to our organization.
7. What do you enjoy most about working with the dancers in your role at Career Transition For Dancers?
I most enjoy assisting dancers in exploring and discovering other careers they can enjoy and excel in.
8. What is next for you?
We’re looking forward to offering career conversation groups on topics, such as resume writing, health and social services for performing artists and career alternatives for dancers in conjunction with the Chicago office of the Actors Fund and the Chicago Cultural Center’s dance forum series.
Career Transition For Dancers offers a variety of services and resources for dancers to utilize at every stage of their career transition process, all free of charge. Explore our programs and services online at www.careertransition.org. Career Transition For Dancers has provided more than 5,500 dancers with 55,000 hours – equivalent to over $6 million- of career counseling and program services, and has awarded millions of dollars in educational scholarships and entrepreneurial grants. If you would like to schedule a free, one-on-one career counseling appointment, please contact us.