The diminishment of subsidies over the last six years affected the Dutch dance landscape, where the boundaryless career type of freelance dancer became a norm. Regardless the type of dance or career path, dancers decide to change career at a certain point of life. Literature dedicated to the subject of career transition in the dance profession exists, none of it however focuses on dancers who work on a freelance basis. The process and the dynamics of career transition within the freelance environment in dance needs more understanding. This thesis aims to analyse the dynamics of career transition of professional freelance dancers working in the Netherlands in terms of timing, career choices, transferable skills, (re) education and available support; and to analyse the relationship between the boundaryless career type of freelance dancers and the process of their transition to another profession. This case study takes a qualitative approach and bases its results on 13 semi-structured interviews with dance professionals, who have worked as freelancers in the Netherlands and have transitioned or are in the process of transition to any another profession than performing dancer. The study analyses the results combining different theoretical perspectives and supports the research with transition theories frequently used in sport studies, by Schlossberg (1981) and Taylor & Ogilvie (1994) with an addition of human capital theory (Becker, 1993) and sorting theory (van Broekhuizen, 2009). The study covers a broad range of topics within career transition processes of freelance dancers in the Netherlands from a dance practitioner perspective. The results demonstrate that a boundaryless career path of freelance dancers has an influence on their precarious life style, which serves as a trigger to transition and often does not secure them with any institutional support.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cultural Economics, Cultural Entrepreneurship, artist labour, career transition, dancers, career development
Thesis Advisor F. Brouwer
Persistent URL
Series Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship , Master Arts, Culture & Society
J. Bowbrowska. (2019, June 10). Career transitions of freelance dancers in the Netherlands. Master Arts, Culture & Society. Retrieved from