Offstage with Pa. Ballet dancers

By Christopher Wink, For The Inquirer

It was last summer when Brooke Moore figured she and her father had probably scared away a mountain lion.

The deer they discovered was freshly killed, its leg just torn off; there were no bugs and the blood trail was visible. The two didn’t pay it much mind, though, and continued their weeklong, 85-mile backpacking trek through the Pennsylvania Laurel Highlands.

Just another day in the life of a ballerina.

Moore, a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet, is one of many in the Philadelphia-based troupe who use their limited time away from the stage to fulfill very distinct needs and passions.

Some dancers are practicing vocations that might follow a career known for a short life span. But many say the goals of their free time are decidedly different from those in the non-dancer world. Ballet is their hobby, their passion and their career, so having an interest outside dancing is a must.