Mikala Freitas, Caroline H. Newhouse Grant Recipient
Without the support from Career Transition For Dancers, I would have never found the balance between work and dance. The grant I received from CTFD allowed me to complete my Pilates certification while I was performing without any additional financial stress.
My dance career has literally taken me all over the world, performing on 6 of the 7 continents (when Antarctica needs dancers, I’m ready to go.) Beginning in the early 1980’s, I performed on cruise ships, appeared in films, television, pre-Broadway workshops, industrials, benefits, opera, and musical theater, plus choreographing productions of Oklahoma, Hello Dolly! and Footloose.
The most important thing I learned from CTFD was that I did not have to give up dancing all at once to start a new career. The grant I received assisted me to continue dancing while supplementing my income with a career in Wellness i.e. Pilates, Yoga, Massage and Biofeedback. Today, my supplemental income is my full-time career even though I still continue to dance and choreograph on occasion. It also has allowed me to support other dancers by giving annual scholarships back to CTFD.
I strongly encourage other grant recipients to give back to CTFD to foster the growth and support of future dancers in transition. It is never easy to imagine a life after dance and I would argue that CTFD showed me that I never really have to put dance behind me, by continuing to give scholarships, and watching others transition, I am still an integral part of the dance community.