Ballet can be a notoriously short career. While many of PNB's retired dancers have remained in the ballet world, others have found more unconventional second careers; here's a sampling.
With its physical demands and frequent injuries, ballet can be a notoriously short career, and even those lucky and talented enough to find their way into a professional company eventually find the need to think about their next act. Many of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s retired dancers have remained in the ballet world, as teachers, artistic directors, coaches, choreographers, dance photographers and, in the case of former principal Linnette Hitchen (now Linnette Roe), shoe room supervisor at New York City Ballet. Others, like Ariana Lallone at Teatro ZinZanni, have found more unconventional second careers. Here’s a sampling of what just a few former PNB dancers — many of whom received assistance from PNB’s career transition program, Second Stage — are now doing.
- Batkhurel Bold, who retired in 2017 as a principal dancer after 21 years with the company, has entered the hospitality industry; he’s currently housekeeping supervisor at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle.
- Kari Brunson, a corps de ballet member from 2002 to 2009, is a fixture on the Seattle food scene; she owns Juicebox Cafe and is co-owner of Frankie & Jo’s.
- Chalnessa Eames, who retired as a soloist in 2011 after 10 years at PNB, owns and runs the local fitness business MyFituals.
- Rebecca Johnston, who danced with PNB’s corps de ballet from 1998 to 2008, is now an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board — Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch.
- Liora Neuville, corps de ballet member from 2007 to 2014, is a transplant nurse at UW Hospital.
- Jordan Pacitti, a member of the corps de ballet from 1999 to 2010, is owner and creative director of the local skincare company Jordan Samuel Skin.
- Brittany Reid (now Brittany Recachinas), danced with PNB’s corps de ballet from 2000 to 2015, and currently runs a small natural farm with her husband in the Allegheny Mountain foothills of southwestern Pennsylvania.
- Josh Spell, who was with the corps de ballet from 2001 to 2011, is a social worker and therapist at Overlake Hospital.