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The aDvANCE Project: A Study of Career Transition for Professional Dancers [2003]

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Jeffri, Joan (Columbia University. Research Center for Arts and Culture)
  • Schriel, Adrian (Tanz Ensemble Cathy Sharp)
  • Throsby, David (Macquarie University)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
career change; career guidance; dance; dancers
  • Abstract

    The aDvANCE Project consists of sample surveys of current and former dancers in United States, Australia, and Switzerland, as well as profiles of dance activity in 11 countries and descriptions of significant dance career transition programs. The project's final report suggests that the aDvANCE Project was undertaken to assess dancers' transition to post-performance careers, more specifically "to assess the extent and nature of the challenges of the transition process, to gather factual evidence to test various propositions about the effects of transition on the individual dancer, and to suggest ways in which the problems of transition may be addressed." For The aDvANCE Project [Australia], 251 respondents returned questionnaires that were mailed to them. For The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland], the researchers received 356 usable surveys. For The aDvANCE Project [United States], 220 respondents returned questionnaires that were mailed to them.
  • Abstract

    The aDvANCE Project [Australia] contacted the entire known population of current and former professional dancers in Australia with a mailed questionnaire and reply-paid envelope. Questionnaires were mailed to a total of 1,412 current and former dancers. For privacy reasons, 343 questionnaires were sent directly by the Australia Council and 90 were sent directly by the Australian Ballet with an explanatory letter indicating that the completed survey should be returned in the pre-paid envelope to Macquarie University. The researchers received 251 usable returns, a 17 percent response rate. Of the respondents, 35 percent are current dancers and 65 percent are former dancers. The survey was conducted during 2003. The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland] attempted to locate and contact the entire population of current and former professional dancers in Switzerland. Dancers from subsidized state theater companies were interviewed in person, and independent dancers were mailed questionnaires. The questionnaire was offered in German, French, and English. Thirteen of the completed questionnaires were invalidated for one or more of the following reasons: (a) it was clear that the person was not and had never been a professional dancer, (b) the person changed the wording of questions, or (c) the person answered the questions for both current dancers and former dancers. The researchers received 356 usable surveys. Of the completed questionnaires, 219 were in German, 89 were in French, and 60 were in English. Of the respondents, 203 are current dancers and 153 are former dancers. The survey was conducted during 2003. The aDvANCE Project [United States] consisted of 220 dancers, drawn randomly from a list of dancers in the United States compiled through a collection of organizational sources. The sample of dancers included 49 current dancers and 171 former dancers. The survey was conducted by mail during 2003.
  • Methods

    No weights are present in the data.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: The aDvANCE Project [Australia]: Of the 1,412 surveys sent out, 251 returns (17 percent) were received. There were 66 bad addresses (4.7 percent). The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland]: The response rate for dancers from companies that facilitated personal interviews was 85 percent. Insufficient information was provided to compute an overall response rate for the survey. The aDvANCE Project [United States]: Of the 1,000 surveys sent out, 220 usable returns (22 percent) returns were received.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: The aDvANCE Project [Australia]
    • DS2: The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland]
    • DS3: The aDvANCE Project [United States]
Temporal Coverage
  • 2002 / 2003
    Time period: 2002--2003
  • 2003-09 / 2003-11
    Collection date: 2003-09--2003-11
  • 2003-04-01 / 2003-04-30
    Collection date: 2003-04-01--2003-04-30
  • Collection date: 2003
Geographic Coverage
  • Australia
  • Switzerland
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Current and former professional dancers.
The aDvANCE Project [Australia]: A complete population of current and former dancers in Australia was sought through the following sources: lists of current and former dancers held by the Australia Council, a list of former dancers held by the Australian Ballet, and a list of current dancers that had been compiled for a prior survey of individual artists. The list from the prior survey was created through multiple sources, including Ausdance (both national and various state branches), Australian Performing Arts Directory, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Tasdance, and the Black Book. This list was then updated with newly compiled lists of former dancers as well as some additional current dancers. The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland]: Lists of potential respondents were drawn from three sources: fully subsidized state theatre companies, independent dance companies, and dance associations. Representatives of the subsidized dance companies (all of which have contracts with the Swiss Stage Artists Guild) informed their ensemble members and facilitated direct meetings with the dancers. Personal interviews were conducted with dancers at the St. Gallen, Bern, Basel and Geneva companies. Through telephone conversations with the managers of the smaller independent dance companies and with the representatives of numerous dance associations, addresses were obtained for independent dancers. The aDvANCE Project [United States]: A random sample of 1,000 dancers was created from a list of 4,617 dancers. The list of 4,617 dancers was compiled from the U.S. Career Transition for Dancers organization, unions, dance companies, dance conservatories, and professional training schools. The margin of error in the aDvANCE data for all three surveys is plus or minus 5 percent.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire

    Data collection for The aDvANCE Project [Australia] was conducted by David Throsby of Macquarie University. Data collection for The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland] was conducted by Adrian Schriel of Tanz Ensemble Cathy Sharp. Data collection for The aDvANCE Project [United States] was conducted by the Research Center for Arts and Culture.

    This data collection was previously distributed by the Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA). These data were deposited with CPANDA by Research Center for Arts and Culture at Columbia University. The CPANDA Identification number (study number) for the entire data collection is c00001. The CPANDA Identification number for The aDvANCE Project [Australia] is a00213, for The aDvANCE Project [Switzerland] is a00214, and for The aDvANCE Project [United States] is a00191. CPANDA conducted the following processing steps for release of this collection: produced a codebook, checked for undocumented codes, performed consistency checks, provided frequencies, performed recodes, and reformatted the data.

    For additional information about this data collection, users are encouraged to refer to the Research Center for Arts and Culture Web site.

    Quick facts for this data collection, "Challenges in Transitioning From a Professional Dance Career: An International Comparison" and "Transitioning from a professional dance career," are available from the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies (CACPS) at Princeton University.

    Due to the limit in the number of allowable columns of 256 in Excel 97-2003 (file ending, xls), the Excel files being distributed with this collection are in the later version of Excel (file ending of xlsx).

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 35598 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Simmons, Laura Kei. After the Curtain Call: The Career Transition Experience of Modern Dancers. Thesis, American University. 2008.
  • Jeffri, Joan. Life After Dance: Career Transition of Professional Dancers. International journal of arts management. International Journal of Arts Management.8, (3), 542006.
  • Jeffri, Joan. After the ball is over. International Journal of Cultural Policy.11, (3), 341-355.2005.
  • Baumol, William J., Jeffri, Joan, Throsby, David. Making Changes: Facilitation the Transition of Dancers to Post-Performance Careers. The aDvANCE Project Research Report.New York, NY: Columbia University, Research Center for Arts and Culture. 2004.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Levine, Mindy N.. Beyond Performance: Building a Better Future for Dancers and the Art of Dance. International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers. 2004.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Jeffri, Joan; Schriel, Adrian; Throsby, David (2015): The aDvANCE Project: A Study of Career Transition for Professional Dancers [2003]. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.