This Mom Dances - Tumblr post # 8 / by Sarah Weber Gallo


This is not an audition. This is an interview for a big girl job. Friends, however does one prepare for such an event?

This is so weird! I never left the workforce - even after becoming a mom. I took my designated maternity leave (6 weeks of which was spent recovering from the physical trauma of C-section. Who knew?), and went right back to dancing - and pumping - while my husband did the lion’s share of the parenting. Well, whoop-dee-do for me. A consistently employed professional woman who has never had a job interview. Weird.

When other moms find out that I am a dancer, and that I am in transition from full-time performing to other meaningful (and remunerative) employment in the field, I receive the following unsolicited advice: 1. Open a dance studio in town, or 2. Become a Broadway choreographer. I usually don’t have the heart to tell them that I despise pre-ballet and have no interest in tarnishing our already tenuous social relationships by tracking down their late tuition payments, or that one doesn’t just magically become a Broadway choreographer. But really, Corporate Mom and Condo Mom, I know you are well-meaning, so thanks for the advice.

In the interest of longevity, I have been leaning more towards administration. So, I find myself this morning fretting about what to wear, guessing at the level of professional dress expected. I don’t own a suit. I tried. Really though, the professional attire section of Macys gave me heart palpitations. Everything is so fussy and you can’t move. This does not work for me because I will require a level of good feeling, as Christine Wright puts it, in my body to successfully present myself in an office environment. So I found a bright red jacket in the non-business section, and I plan to make it work with other stuff in my wardrobe. Hopefully this will signify BOLDNESS or CREATIVE THINKING or ORIGINALITY. I’ll report back.

How to quantify all the qualitative measures of my work experience as a dancer? Does the business world value 3-dimensional thinking? Improvisation? That time I stepped on my costume and slid all the way onto my back on a stainless steel raked stage and still managed to hoist myself up over the heads of my partners in split-second time for the dolphin lift? Could these experiences be repackaged as, say, Strategic-Longitudinal-Planning! Systems-Generation! Collaborative-Team-Building! Growing-Capital-In-Emerging-Markets! Well, maybe not that last one. But otherwise? You bet!

Also, let’s not forget that dancing makes you smart. All that sophisticated cross-body patterning is associated with higher-level cognitive functioning - teach a child to skip, etc. By my own unscientific research, crosswords are infinitely easier after ballet class than after getting a manicure or shopping for suits at Macy’s.

And how about grace? This quality is in palpable decline in our city of aggression and myopic striving. It’s going to be a long, hot summer folks; wouldn’t we all benefit from a little more grace in our daily pursuits and interactions? Obviously I think the answer is yes. Or at least I intend to harness all the forces of physical and behavioral grace learned from a lifetime of embodiment to convince Mr. Potential Employer that he needs ME in that office. Right? Right.

So, in an effort to prepare herself mentally for the unfamiliar territory of the corporate job interview, the dancer decides to stop fretting about her attire and…goes to class.