I moved to Mpls to leave ballet behind once and for all, preferring the gutsy modern work I’d been exposed to in college and Repertory Dance Theatre. By then I’d danced plenty of ballet, musical theatre, and modern and wanted to experience the contemporary modern on pointe. As fate would have it however, there were fewer teachers who could teach ballet and by the time I left MDT, I wasn’t in any position to be picky. It didn’t take long to realize that the discipline, consistency, and physical benefits of ballet were good for all, even in the large inner city high school where I taught in tandem first with MDT and then for PNB.
In many of the academic positions I’ve had, there were always years I had to teach everything including jazz and character which are far from my comfort zone but having had solid training, rising to the occasion was necessary. The lecture classes I’ve developed also gave me the opportunity to stay current on nutrition, injuries, explore daces from around the world, etc- I even taught a budgeting for dancers class one semester!
I think honoring my teachers and passing on the teaching are my 2 motivators at this point. Plus, I think it natural to enjoy what you know you do quite well. Students often find me years later to say how the work touched them and that helps me understand it’s bigger than me.