Why I left my dream job as a ballet dancer to pursue a career change

Our ballet company had just returned from an international tour to Havana, Cuba. A country where the arts are held in the highest social and political regard, seeing how something as codified as ballet could transcend linguistic and cultural barriers to put on a performance with Cuban dancers was an experience I will never forget. During the tour we heard snippets and rumors of COVID-19, but we were too focused on our upcoming shows to give it serious thought. Two weeks later we had a…

This was written as a response to the Atlanta massage parlor shootings in March 2021.

Photos of South Korean flags
Photo by Emanuel Ekström on Unsplash

As other first generation immigrants can relate, our parents immigrated to America with nothing. My mom used to tell me that when she first worked at a baby clothes store she couldn’t even afford McDonalds for lunch, and so resorted to eating kimchi in the bathroom stall. With no resources, no understanding of the language, our parents were motivated by a dream to raise a child in a country that promised a prosperous life. As we grew up, we inevitably absorbed cultural values of autonomy and individualism while inhabiting White cultural contexts. Yet our home was a microcosm of Eastern…

Some unexpected parallels between two very different professions

Ballerinas in tutus waiting off stage for their entrance
dPhoto by Kazuo ota on Unsplash

To briefly introduce myself, I am a professional ballet dancer in the midst of a career transition into UX design. I started my dance career about three years ago, but in light of how the economic repercussions of Covid-19 decimated the performing arts industries I decided it was time for a career change. It also came at a point where I needed to reevaluate my relationship with ballet; I was feeling burnt out from the high pressures and stakes that are normalized within the profession.

Currently, I am about halfway through a UX Design Bootcamp with CareerFoundry. I still have…

Daniel Cho

Product Designer | Professional Ballet Dancer

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