Question: I understand that a professional ballerina typically retires at about thirty, but at what age would an amateur stop? And I know that en pointe dancing is the most difficult and physically damaging, so at what age might she stop doing that, even if she continued dancing? Any information on when an average ballet dancer might start/stop any particular aspect of dancing would be helpful.
Setting: sci-fi, 300 years into the future. The character is 56 (when normal human lifespan is, on average, 150), a military officer and in excellent physical condition. She has been dancing since age 6, but has never danced professionally.
Research: I've done a lot of research on ballet in general- the terms, movements, famous ballets, etc- but haven't managed to come across anything on retirement or age, other than that most serious dancers start very early.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I'm currently writing a story that will include a rather detailed flashback to one character's military career. I'm basically wondering if any of this sounds massively wrong or off. What I've worked out so far includes the following:
She joined the US Marine Corps in early 1998, straight out of high school, having no college ambitions and suffering from a bit of a lack of direction. MOS 1371, combat engineer. After boot camp and school, she was assigned to the 6th Engineering Support Battalion. She did quite well on the job, with only minor discipline issues. By the middle of 2001, her first enlistment period was almost up, and having no other perspectives for the moment, she reupped, having reached Corporal rank. 9/11 happens, and in the following time, her discipline issues worsen gradually. An after-hours bar crawl leads to her getting a DUI and being Article 15'd for it; the punishment is getting busted back down to Private First Class. It keeps her on the straight-and-narrow for a while, but when the unit deploys to Iraq in '04, she's got a well-deserved reputation of being insufficiently motivated, essentially hoping to ride out the rest of her service commitment and then get out. Her job in Iraq is bridge reconnaissance; a lot of bridges get blown up, repaired and blown up again, and since she's got some technical chops and is a keen observer/sketch artist, she's pretty good at this.
However, the job does require them to actually visit those bridges, and one day, scouting out a bridge makes them run smack into a team of irregulars there to blow it up. In a brief exchange of fire, her team's Humvee gets a tire blown and their machinegunner takes a round along the side of his head, taking him out of the fight. They're almost overrun and surrounded in those first few seconds, but she comes out swinging, first laying down suppressive fire so her team can get out of the vehicle and to cover. Fortunately, a nearby Cobra gunship responds quickly to their call for help, and when the dust settles, she and her team are still in one piece with the irregulars in full retreat. They call a MedEvac for their wounded gunner and make it out of there. The narrative is quickly built around it: what could have become a second Jessica Lynch incident instead turned into a brave defensive fight with no losses. Her unit commander goes to bat for her and nominates her for a Bronze Star (Valor), which she is awarded.
...and that's when things go really wrong for her, but the rest of the story isn't relevant to my questions. :)
Already looked at: Wikipedia, Global Security, About.com's military section, several other websites. Also had a thread on the Something Awful forums, in Goons in Platoons, but that was before I had most of the details down.
Also, I'm always looking for good sources of modern military lingo. I'll probably have to rewatch Generation Kill some time anyway and take notes this time.
I'm writing an AU Sherlock Holmes fanfic featuring a genderbent!always-female!Watson. I know according to the Sherlock Holmes wiki that Dr. John Watson graduated from the University of London in 1878. I also know that the London School of Medicine for Women was founded in 1874.
This AU may end up fusing to another involving a steampunk air force of either dragons or airships with female crew (Watson gets roped into treating them while in training and ends up coming with them to Afghanistan) so I could just go ahead and twist the timeline but I want this to be a in-spite-of-a-nail type thing.
My question is this, does anyone know when the first class graduated from LSMW? Would Margaret Watson have been in this first class, a later one, trained independently or would she have gone to America or a European country such as France, Italy or the Netherlands for training? Any information on training to be a Doctor in the Victorian era is appreciated as well. Ciriculum, timing, requirements etc