One thing I have tried to keep in check for myself along the way during my career is the sense of entitlement that is so easy for dancers to fall into. Somehow we forget despite our talent, so many factors go into giving someone a place in the company. I don't believe we really even realize how much we take our jobs for granted at times. I believe it stems from having fragile egos and loving what we do at the same time, but it's one of the personality quirks that I don't like about dancers(including myself.)
Throughout my career, I have kept myself in check by remembering that I can be replaced. I may have spoken to this effect previously, but today it is fresh in my mind again. I know that I have brought enjoyment to audiences over the years, and I feel that I have brought much to the table during my years of work. I know that individual artistry takes time to harvest, but I also know that there will be hundreds of excited young men when they find out that there is an opening at the Kansas City Ballet. I'm excited for them.
As I am stepping away, I feel proud that I can give someone this opportunity. It will be their turn. I have no way of knowing all of the ins and outs of how my job offer came to be, and neither will my replacement, but I do hope that my job is filled by someone who is eager and not easily dragged down by a premature sense of entitlement. Yes, we as dancers have worked hard to get where we are, but we must never forget how lucky we are to get our jobs.