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What do you do?

Guest beckster

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Guest beckster

We've got a lot of new people, so I thought it would be interesting to ask what everyone does when they aren't dancing. Do you have a job, are you a student or maybe a full-time parent? Let's all find out about each other's non-ballet occupations!


I'll start ... I'm a third year PhD student in a Molecular Biology/Evolution and Development Lab near London in the UK. In the UK a degree is three years and a PhD takes 3-4 years, so I'm aiming to be Dr. Beckster by the time I'm 25. After that, I'm hoping to find a job short term and then do some travelling and conservation work in Australia before settling down into an academic career either in the UK or the US. I don't do anything outside university except ballet and going to the pub (:)), but I'd like to try figure skating! My main short term aim is to get rid of the bags that live permanently under my eyes at the moment.

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Guest Aleksander



I am a lawyer and I am working for the Danish Ministry of Taxation.

Besides I teach law of property and law of insolvency/bankruptcy at the Copenhagen University, Faculty of Law.





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Wow, beckster, a PhD by the time you are 25, that's a cool thing to be!


I am 25 and about to start a Master's degree in Women's History. I am going to do it part time because I didn't get a grant, but I'm still hoping for a PhD by the time I am 30!?! I think I'd like to write books or make documentaries for TV on women's history or the evolution of popular culture/popular politics or even pop music. I might also like to do some work on ballet history too because it's so full of amazing personalities. But that's all about my ambitions rather than what I actually do for a living.


I currently work as a PA in the health service but I'm going back to work in the media as a PR assistant in September. Hopefully I will have time for this and my course and ballet and my social life! I also have to move house soon, which I was looking forward to but I can't be bothered now.:)

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I work for the National Public Health Institute in Finland, as a computer programmer at the department of infectious diseases epidemiology.


I mainly work with the database registry of notifiable diseases and do my Master's Thesis in computer science in a related project (I study at the Helsinki University). I also hold an MD from the same university (I know, I know, it's a weird combination).


I am 28 years old and hope to be a PhD one day. ;)

I also practice "medieval" swordsmanship (see http://www.swordschool.com/) and play roleplaying games.

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Guest bertrande

Great thread!


I'm 22 and a final year student in the Faculty of Law at the University here. I'm a freelance singer/actress and have been involved in theatre and television for as long as I can remember; I guess you could say that performing is really in my blood! :) I only started ballet lessons in April (I think) 2002 or thereabout and am enjoying it immensely! It's a great stress-reliever and one that gives you lots of satisfaction as well. Anyone else?

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Guest dancerwannabe

Well don't I feel like an underachiever in this group of Phd/Masters degree holding lawyer group! I attended Ohio State University and graduated with a Bachelors in Business. I have been working for a major automotive company for about 4 years now. Truthfully, I don't know what I want to be per se. I just want to do something I enjoy... I've been taking ballet for about 9 months now. I love it. It's one of the best things I've ever done.

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I'm 31 and a security engineer. I own the business that I work at. I specialize in aviation security. Basically a security engineer plans security system layouts and creates any protective devices that may be needed. Currently I am trying to make commercial aircraft safe from box knife wielding lunatics.

Other than that when I'm not in class, I spend time with my wife and take my 9 year old son to kickboxing.

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Guest Anders

I'm an ex-rock star wannabe turned corporate lawyer with a background in Russian language studies. I work at a major Swedish law firm, currently at the Stockholm office, which helps a great way towards sustaining my ballet habit. In the past, I worked in the St Petersburg office, which is where I saw Swan Lake for the first time and decided that ballet was something that I had to start doing myself. I was 30 then, now 31 and in it until the end or until I realize that I will never be able to balance in passe, whichever comes first (assuming there's a difference).

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Me. I'm an 82 year old, ex-hippie tree hugger -- just kidding. I'm 37. I started daning just under 2 years ago. I live in Los Angeles where I work as a location manager in television and film production. I find the places they shoot TV shows and movies at. I currently work on a show called "The Guardian." I also worked on "X-Files," "ER" and "Melrose PLace" (Smelrose to us former Spelling employees). Some of the movies I've done include "Minority Report" (2nd unit), "Galaxy Quest," "Liar, Liar" and "Ed Wood." I also write as many of you already know, and hope to get accepted to the Disney Fellowship for screenwriters this winter.

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oh my god you worked on the X-files..how I love David Duchovny..sigh...jealous or what?

Well me I have just turned 27 and am in my second year of a post doctoral research at Stanford University. I went to the same uni as Beckster where I completed my PhD in March 2001. I am currently doing research into viral influenza neuraminidase inhibitors, GABA-A neuroreceptors and snake venom proteins.

In case you're wondering how any of this is relevant to anyone...well flu viruses have a nasty habit of mutating very fast and with devastating effects (Spanish flu in 1918 cost more than 30-40 million lives worldwide). If they infect humans (as normally these flu viruses are found in foul and swine, but can cross over into humans) and we have nothing to treat or prevent the mutated flu viruses from being replicated and transmitted it could get quite nasty. So the research I do looks at how the drugs we have currently work (i.e. Tamiflu and relenza); will they work if the virus mutates, and could improved drugs be developed.


With GABA-A, well this is the neuroreceptor in the brain that if it misfires causes problems like anxiety attakcs, panic attacks etc :eek:, (when it works properly this receptor works with its transmitter to calm you down) and at the moment drugs called benzodiazepines (i.e. valium) are targeted at these GABA-A neuroreceptors. Unfortunately, the actual structure of GABA-A is not known, so how can improved drugs be designed? I am trying to find out what the structure of the neuroreceptor GABA-A is..easier said than done.

Now the snake venom is interesting as the properities it contains could lead to the design of more effective general aneasthetics, with less side effects. Again we try to determine its structure so it can be synthetically made rather than extracted from snakes.


I hear the snoring now, better go and get on with it then! A little more detail than nayone wanted, but when someone asks what I do..well....:D

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I have to follow THAT? :D I feel like such an underachiever. Well, me... when I'm not trying to figure out exacly what I want to be when I grow up, I work for a non-profit organization that does federal policy work and advocacy for low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. I have a masters degree in urban and regional planning but realized pretty quickly that I didn't actually want to do planning. I like to write and do research and have realized that I probably should have got a degree in English or Journalism instead so that I coul get a job that paid me to write about a variety of things, rather than always trying to figure out how to create projects at this job that let me write (always about the same stuff!) I am 30 and started dancing regularly 3 years ago, after sporadic attempts during college. Sometimes I think I would like to do some teaching to adult beginners, but then I think there is no way that I know enough, and I'm not sure how receptive people are to having a teacher who started as an adult themself.

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Aren't we an educated and motivated bunch? I loved reading about your professions and passions in addition to ballet. I teach college English (composition and British literature). My area of expertise is Old/Middle English--very removed from modern life, but that's the way I like it! Sometimes I get to feeling like I live in my head, however, and that's where ballet comes in--it's so nice to enter the studio and leave all the intellectual stuff behind for an hour or two--not that ballet doesn't take brains (those petite allegro combinations!), but it's more sensory and aesthetic and tactile than verbal--makes for a nice balance to my day.

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Wow, I'm impressed!

Me, just a little ole LRCP, that runs the Bronchoscopy Lab at a clinic and care/case manages O2 dependent COPD pts. They used to call me a "snot sucker" in the ICU back in my inpatient days.

I would prefer to refer to myself as the 6 yr old that used to get up during her naps and put on her ruffled petticoat slips and play "ballet dancer" until my mother heard me and I got in trouble and sent back to bed!

Didn't start ballet until I was 46, describe it as my passion, not a hobby. Absolutely panic when I think of my age and how soon I might plateau, but for now I continue to get better.


wine lady

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Guest Lola_Doggy

Hmm, I’ve mutated over the years so what I do now is different from what I did then, anyhow, a brief bio.


I’m 37, took ballet from 1980 to 1983, had a crazy Russian teacher who liked to be called Madame Ostracova (which I’m assuming was her name). She called everyone Bidriche or something like that, don’t know why.


Went to college in the evenings for 6 years to get EE deg in the early 80’s.


Work wise, from 1981 to 1989 I designed computers and wrote software for government and military ‘applications’. Switched over to the music/film business in 1989 and mingled with the stars while designing/developing expensive toys for them to play with. Mutated again in 1996, since then I’ve been writing software and designing stuff to test other peoples software and stuff (still in the music/film business though).


I work for the mighty double D.


Actually met David Duchovny in Vancouver some years ago, he was very concerned that he was being stalked by a banana eating 20 something wearing a leotard.


My claim to fame, I got an email from Rodney Freed.



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I'm a national correspondent for a newspaper (ergo, "scoop"), and all the traveling I do for this story or that used to totally interfere with my fantasy ballet life. Until -- d'oh! -- I realized a leotard, tights and shoes take up almost no suitcase space. Unfortunately, I don't always travel to such ballet-rich places like New York where I've just spent several days, nor do I always have the time to squeeze in a class (she gratuitously inserted in case her editor is a secret ballet alertnik!) But I now pack my gear just in case...


I've been back to ballet for a couple of years now after some 15 years off. (Broke a foot, lost my sense of fearlessness in the studio, got buried in work, yadda yadda.) And Baltimore, where I live, doesn't make it easy -- most schools are on a semester rather than card system, so I think there were times when I must have paid $50 a class for the few times I was able to make it to one!


But as you all know yourselves, a true ballet fiend will not be denied! My gym of all places started offering a ballet barre class twice a week that's turned into more of a "real" class since often only I or one other equally serious student will show up. On Saturdays when I'm in town I'll drive down to the Washington Ballet (40 miles one way -- am I crazy or what!) for a great adult class. But it's worth it -- if only because I ran into our own Victoria Leigh there one day, whom I actually studied with during what our respective biographers will no doubt dub the Florida years.

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