Home Video StoreShopping Cart
The Dance Goodbye
A film by Ron Steinman & Eileen Douglas

56 minutes, documentary, color, 2014



What is life like for a dancer when they can no longer dance? Inspired by Merrill Ashley's departure from the New York City Ballet as an acclaimed principal dancer, this new documentary captures the poignancy of this life turning point. After a struggle to find her next step, today Merrill Ashley travels around the world teaching Balanchine to dance companies that perform his works as once she did. This is the story of any dancer - or in truth any one of us - who needs to find their way into a new life.

Watch a Clip


" An excellent documentary on Merrill Ashley's career and her goodbye... Bravo! Bravo!" - Jacques d'Amboise, Former Principal Dancer, NYCB & Founder, National Dance Institute

"In this delicate exploration of artistic tradition, a Balanchine dancer facing retirement transforms herself from muse into keeper of the flame." - Jan Huttner, FF2 Media

"When a dancer wakes up one morning and is no longer a part of the dance community, it's an incredible loss that is devastating. Yet, transition from a dance career into another career is a journey of rediscovering who you are. 'The Dance Goodbye' beautifully shows how that journey plays out by following ballerina Merrill Ashley in a documentary that offers a rare look inside the dancer's life when the dance, but not life itself, is finished." - Alexander J. Dubé, President, Career Transition For Dancers

"I’ve always been a huge fan of New York City Ballet ballerina Merrill Ashley, and her transition story will touch the heart of every lover of dance and, more importantly, every dancer who will face this challenge; it certainly touched mine. This project is a must see!" - Chita Rivera, Tony Award Winner & Broadway Legend

"The first woman I ever partnered on pointe with was Merrill Ashley; the passion emanating from her dancing is something I will never forget. To work with someone who has experienced so much with her soul and body was a revelation. This film will inspire and educate artists. She has left a wonderful legacy." - David Parsons, Artistic Director, Parsons Dance

"Offers both a realistic look at what it means to be a professional dancer, and the assurance that it is worth it. Ashley was a marvelous dancer, noted for her musicality and perfect technique, and seeing her in motion is a rare pleasure indeed." - Sarah Boslaugh, Playback STL

"Nothing less than thrilling and inspiring." - Cinesource Magazine


The Dance Goodbye on Facebook

Career Transition for Dancers

Dance Films Association

Disc Features

●  Photo Gallery
●  Biographies

You Might Also Like