Retirement Transition in Ballet Dancers: "Coping Within and Coping Without"

Irina Roncaglia


Retirement transitions in ballet dancers have been under researched. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of career transition in ballet dancers, from a life course perspective. Drawing upon existing transition models (SCHLOSSBERG, 1981) and sport literature (TAYLOR & OGILVIE, 1994), the paper investigates how ballet dancers cope (or not) with the transition and explores the different factors influencing the coping process. Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews from fourteen international ballet dancers were used adopting an idiographic approach through interpretative phenomenological analysis and tenets of grounded theory methodology. The results identified a main theme "Coping strategies: Coping within & without" and eight sub-categories: Denial, alienation, indecision, severance, acceptance, letting go, renegotiation and reconstruction. The individual can experience different responses, which trigger different coping processes and subsequently different types of support are sought. Finally the paper briefly discusses some of the implications for future career development and career guidance.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100210


retirement; transitions; ballet dancers; coping strategies; career development; life span; life course

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Copyright (c) 2010 Irina Roncaglia

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