Flexibility is not only important in the lives of many dancers, but also can be crucial when finding a job.
When a metatarsal injury where her joints wore down from misalignment and overuse turned senior Ashley Friedman’s dancing career away from the stage, she found a way to pursue her dreams from a studio office.
After graduation, Friedman will work at Texas Ballet Theater as the school administrator, a position she said paralleled her definition of a dream job.
From the time she was 16 and dancing in a pre-professional dance company, she said she had planned to open her own studio. She said she spent her first two years at the university as a dance major, and when her injury prevented her from performing, she switched to a major in communication studies.
The transition, she said, helped her realize the strengths she had in organization and helped her realize the interaction skills she could use while staying in the dance environment. Minoring in arts administration also educated her on what work was available.
She said Cathy Hernandez, the director of development at Ballet Memphis, helped connect Friedman with internships at the Circle Theatre and Ballet Concerto when she was an arts administration professor at the university.
Hernandez said Friedman’s drive, articulation and energy made her a good job candidate. She said 90 percent of students in her past classes had found jobs in the arts administration field.
The university offered students a chance to network with artistic venues in the area, she said, including a chance to work behind the scenes at Bass Performance Hall. She said it was key for students to incorporate their personal style into their business and to actively pursue job opportunities.
Friedman said Texas Ballet Theater was a place she had seen herself working at after graduation, and when she contacted a university graduate working at TBT, her dream job came sooner than she expected. She said she was also constantly checking sites, such as FrogJobs, to find openings.
Friedman is originally from Atlanta but has grown to like Fort Worth and has developed professional connections here, she said. Overseeing tuition and promoting the growth of the school was what she said she saw herself doing at TBT for the years to come.
She said she planned to attend football games and alumni events with her sorority, Sigma Kappa, after graduation.