Our scholarships have been awarded to 90 dancers. Meet our scholarship holders who have completed their individual career plans.
Main Occupational Health and Safety and Fire Protection Specialist, Entrepreneur, Advanced First Aid Rescuer, Territorial Defence Force soldier, dancer – coryphée. Immediately after graduating from the Łódź Ballet School, he was invited for the audition to “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble. Since that time, he has been professionally associated with this company, although his role has changed in the meantime. He cooperated with such renown choreographers as C. Drzewiecki, J. Kubanka, H. Chojnacka.
fot.z archiwum Zespołu Pieśni i Tańca ŚLĄSK im. Stanisława Hadyny
I currently work as the Main Occupational Health and Safety and Fire Protection Specialist in the “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble, where I am responsible for the broadly-understood safety of the company and of the people who visit our stage. As an Advanced First Aid Rescuer, I am also the one who gives first aid. Apart from working in the “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble, I also run a private business focused on delivering professional training in the field of first aid. Additionally, I am also a Territorial Defence Force soldier and my function is First Aid Rescuer. In this function, I try to develop myself especially in the field of military medicine (TCCC - Tactical Combat Casualty Care). Thanks to that, new possibilities open up for me. The General Command of my forces speaks highly of my knowledge, advanced training skills, diligence and commitment.
It was just before I reached my thirties, that the thought of making the career transition crossed my mind for the first time. I suffered from a serious spine injury and I didn't know whether Iʼd be able to return to dancing after the rehabilitation. Immediately after the accident, I had a meeting with the Executive Director of the “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble, to tell him about my condition. The Director said that he'd be keen to help me as long as I showed personal engagement in the search for a new occupation and in the process of completing and supplementing my education. This meeting was very important for me and it stimulated me to complete MA studies. After a while, when the “Śląsk” Song and Dance Ensemble had a vacancy on the post of the Main Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, the Ensembleʼs Director contacted me and proposed me this job. He also proposed to provide me with complimentary education in the field of Occupational Health and Safety measures and supported me in getting basic qualifications. I must admit that at the beginning I knew very little about the work an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist and I was not sure that this is the right professional path for me. But as I started exploring the subject deeper, this work started to interest me more and more.
I remember well, on 1 March 2008 I signed the part-time work contract as an Occupational Health and Safety Specialist in “Śląsk” Ensemble. I wanted to continue my education in this field.
My main goal in joining the Career Transition Programme for Dancers was to broaden my competences. I wanted to be competent in my new profession. The Programme supported me in this and helped me look at my career transition from a much wider perspective. I gained more confidence. If it hadn't been for the Programme's help, I wouldn't have become a First Aid Rescuer. When I was in the process of transition, by educating myself in the new field, I got to know my new profession better and to understand the requirements and needs of the market in this field. The passion to develop myself further is still within me. I have already completed the Programme but I still want to deepen my knowledge.
When I faced the situation of career transition, I felt lost, I didn't know which way to go. It was tough. At the time, I spent a lot of time talking to other people –
that's how the path of my new career was slowly emerging. It was a process.
The most exciting thing in the transition process was attending numerous courses. Each of these courses and each meeting with new people gave me a chance to confront my weaknesses and to develop myself further. I liked gaining new knowledge very much, I must admit that I was gulping on it. I knew that what I would learn is and would remain my resource.
My wife was very supportive during the whole transition process. If it wasn't for her, I would have failed right from the very beginning. Thanks to her, I was able to participate in numerous courses, as she took over most of the daily duties at home. The help of the Ensemble's Director was also important for me. He helped me participate in various courses from the logistic point of view.
If I were to choose a symbol of my career transition, I'd choose the military oath. The act of taking the oath was an extraordinary experience for me – a passage to another stage of my life.
In hindsight, I think that thanks to the career transition I opened myself to new opportunities. And now I think that nothing is impossible. All you have to do is have an open mind and a willingness to change. The obstacles exist only in our head. If you can overcome them, you can reach high.
The most difficult part of ending the dance career is the very act of making this decision. As dancers, we have to face the fact that our stage time will once be over. It's inevitable. And that's why it's good to be open to new career options. My message to other dancers is: “Don't be afraid! Open yourselves to new things and new experiences. Keep moving forward.”
As Occupational Health and Safety Protection Specialist, I train dancers entering “Śląsk” Ensemble. I usually tell them that the time to make a plan for the future is now – they should start planning where they'd be in 10-15 years. Discovering the whole scope of your inner talents is a process that takes time, so you should start early. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for you to complete the transition process in one year and develop additional skills. Don't waste your chance for development, don't waste your time.