The Lived Experience of Hope in the Successful Early Career Transitions of Semi-Elite Amateur Ballet Dancers

  • Author / Creator
    Sandham, Tricia J
  • The early career transitions of semi-elite amateur ballet dancers have been found to elicit feelings of hopelessness (Sandham, 2012). Despite research highlighting the importance of hope in major change processes (Harris & Larsen, 2008; Jevne, 2005; Larsen et al., 2013; Larsen et al., 2014), the role that hope plays in early career transitions of young ballerinas who were unsuccessful at attaining professional careers has yet to be explored. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of hope during career transitions of semi-elite female amateur ballet dancers. I sought to answer, “How do former semi-elite female amateur ballet dancers experience hope as they successfully transition to meaningful alternate careers?” Related objectives included exploring: (a) personal experiences that fostered hope; (b) barriers to hope; and (c) environmental factors related to hope during this transition. A qualitative study using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed with 10 women. Data were collected through three in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Participants were also invited to share artistic representations of hope during their career transitions. Four overarching themes were co-constructed: (1) hope not achieved; (2) hope as a process; (3) hope as internal to the self; and (4) hope as external to the self. I anticipate that findings will facilitate future research in this area in addition to informing parents/caregivers and ballet teachers how to better support former semi-elite amateur ballet dancers during their early career transitions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.