Dancer and Choreographer
Twyla Tharp: You called it vision, I call it analyzing what my strengths were. It just so happened there was no market whatsoever for my strength, unless I was interested in becoming a show dancer, for which I tried, but I'm not tall enough. Also, when I auditioned for the Radio City Rockettes they said, "We love your fouettés, but can't you smile?" And things of that nature transpired between me and a commercial future. So, I managed to find a way of subsisting in the beginning by doing odd jobs, Kelly Girl temp work, selling perfume at Macy's, and any and everything to be able to sustain studying and beginning a career with a group of dancers who were willing to devote five years, really, of their lives to me, working very seriously, with complete commitment, for not a penny. This is not a pleasant route for many young people to consider, I would imagine. Either you have to be either hopelessly passionate, I guess is the word that gets devoted here, or very stupid. None of us were very stupid, we were all college graduates, actually. But we all believed that we could make an impact on something that was very important to us, which was dancing and the future of dancing, and what could be accomplished. We determined we would do that.
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