Kevin Law (Canada)'s story

Kevin Law (Canada)

Kevin Law (Canada)
Ballet Dancer
Director of Trading
I’m told I fell into dance, literally. At the age of five, I was sent to the local ballet school to improve my poor coordination. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly held my interest as a child, but when I enrolled in Canada’s National Ballet School, the challenge and physicality of dance had me hooked.

I was fortunate enough during my career to dance with the National Ballet of Canada and tour extensively with Opera Atelier. However, I think I always knew I would have a post-dance career one day, so with the help of Joysanne Sidimus and the DTRC, I began auditing some Calculus classes at the University of Toronto. I finished my university prerequisites and began taking courses by correspondence from the University of Waterloo, all while still dancing and touring.

After dancing professionally with the National Ballet for about six years, I retired from performance and enrolled in the University of Waterloo’s Systems Design Engineering co-op program full-time. The experience was indispensable. I had known only ballet my whole life and had no idea the range of professions and opportunities that existed beyond the world of dance. During my co-op, I worked on an engine production line at Ford Motor Company, with MD Robotics repairing a damaged space shuttle Canadarm (seriously!), and finally with ITG as a student trading strategist. It was from this last position that I landed my first full-time non-ballet job, building computer programs that profit from small inefficiencies in the stock market.

Although a transition from classical ballet through engineering to stock trading is unusual, I found I had a surprising number of transferable skills. The work ethic, perseverance, precision and experience performing well under pressure demanded by classical ballet have all served me well in my current job. I know I couldn’t have succeeded in this transition without the support of my family and the ongoing moral and financial support from the DTRC. However, I do miss being on stage. My wife and I joke that after a successful day at work it would be nice if someone stood up and applauded. Aside from that, take heart there is life after dance!