Bowing Out: When And Why Dancers Retire

For classical ballet performers, who typically need to stop around (or before) age 40, it’s some version of, “I want to leave while I still love it, before my body is broken.” For contemporary dancers? Says one, “I thought I should retire and seek another profession when I was like 20. But then when I was 30, I was like, ‘Screw it.’ [I’ll keep going] until I end up in a state-funded nursing home.”