LEAP removes the barriers that prevent professional dancers from getting a college education. For example, the class schedule accommodates the work, touring, and rehearsal calendars of the dancers. Classes are held at hotels near theatre districts and dance studios. The program offers individualized courses of study and an affordable tuition, and a strong support system provides encouragement and guidance.
There are now more than a hundred dancers enrolled in LEAP, and the program is spreading nationally. Education has enabled dancers to see themselves as somebodies and demand dignity in their workplace.
Fears that participating dancers would be "distracted" (i.e., not focused on their careers) proved to be unfounded. Recognizing that a more confident, educated dancer is a better artist, ballet administrators are now very supportive of LEAP. Some have even enrolled in the program themselves!
This example provides a good transition to the following chapter, which focuses on learning.
For further background on the connection between rankism and indignity, listen to Rob Kall's interview with me here.