The sacrifices of dancers

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.


At 35, Alexandra has only recently come to a realization that most of us are forced to reckon with much, much earlier: “You can try to do everything right and it still may not work.” Though she spends many of her days in an office, she says she’s not an office person. Learning to communicate verbally has been a challenge. “I didn’t realize how introverted I was. I had been so used to emoting silently and physically.” Nonetheless, she is seemingly ahead of many of her peers. She is aware of the limitations that her career imposed, and actively working to overcome them.

When I ask her how her personal life has changed, she answers, “It exists now.” But it’s hard to catch up on everything her peers went through as teenagers and young adults. “I feel I’m learning all the time, what to do, what not to do.” She worries about what new acquaintances will think of her past. “It’s freaky to a lot of people,” the way she left her career. “Did she have some kind of mental breakdown?” she imagines they wonder.

She wants a serious relationship; both of her sisters are married. She’s tried Tinder and recently joined Bumble. For obvious reasons, she doesn’t like the apps that make you fill in your whole biography. Does she miss her old life—the drama, the spotlight? “I don’t think real life has enough glamour,” she says. But she also says that she doesn’t think glamour is “enough to base your life on.”

She wishes she could bring the emotional maturity she’s gained only recently to the characters she used to dance. “I was uptight,” she realizes now. “When you’ve really loved, you get less uptight.” Still, she wouldn’t change her decision. “I wish I had two bodies,” she says, “so that I could have continued.”

Post external references

  1. 1