Paper #2- Due March 3, 2015
Sarah Kaufman As a student majoring in Business a constant question that is always in the back of my mind and the minds many students’ is what are they going to do when they graduate and how much money they are going to make. In todays society it’s rare to find people who will give up a steady income to do what they love. However that rare group, including Sarah Hillmer and Gregory Cattellier, takes various paths to arrive at their job and it’s not always an easy path. I think what I learned most from Sarah Hillmer was to never give up on you goals because you never know what new opportunities arise as you continue. Having seen several dance performances something that never dawned on me was all the details that go into the creation of masterpieces. I now have a new perspective of all the effort that is put into just the process of picking the right performers. Cattle calls, individual auditions or prerecorded auditions occur innumerable amounts of times in a dancers short-lived career. Most dancers careers usually end around their mid 30s. At that point many have been turned down for several jobs, been to hundreds of auditions and traveled looking for work. Some dancers however, get lucky and are able to land several jobs. Sarah Hillmer is an example of someone who struggled as she found her way in the dance world. At age 17 she trained herself to dance (already late in the game) and began auditioning. Part of her trouble finding jobs was something out of her control. Sarah Hillmers height made it hard for choreographers to find places in performances for her especially when trying to pair her with male dancers (few in the field). Finally she was hired at the Atlanta Ballet, longest continuously working company, but was not rehired after her first one-year contract. Not being rehired is like being fired in the dance world. What I learned from the two speakers is that the dance field is very competitive and cut throat and they don’t care if your out on the street with not job/ no income. Dancers give up so much to try and achieve their goals even with the very possible chance that they will not be successful. Sarah Hillmers speech shed light of the true sacrifices that come with the professional life of a dancer. Sarah Hillmer has no family of her own (has never had kids), for many years did not have a steady paycheck, and after not being rehired was working at a job that she hated. However, Sarah Hillmer diligently sent her resume out, went to many auditions and continued her efforts until she reached the job, which she has now. Relentless optimism is something that defines Sarah Hillmers life and how she has gotten to where she is now.
Merriam Webster dictionary defines a Ballet Mistress as “a woman who directs, trains, and sometimes acts as choreographer for a ballet company.” Before this class I was unaware that this occupation even existed. However, I soon learned how essential this role-played in the creation of a performance. Part of her job is to be a life coach, mentor, and choreographer. Sarah Hillmer takes dance and makes it relevant to things that are happening today. Her biggest struggle is to find a way to describe something, the choreographer’s vision, to each individual to make it make sense to each person. This is something that is challenging because there are so many interpretations and meanings behind each dance performance that she must help each dancer evoke the correct emotions.
Gregory Cattellier is another example of someone who had experience the cutthroat world of dance but it helped him realize a new path to fulfill. As a male dancers it was initially very easy for him to find work in the field of dance however as the years