For 24 years the ballet was the most important force in Amanda Schull's life. She started dancing before she could recite the alphabet. By the time she was in her second year of college she was granted a full scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet. Soon she became a performer, occasionally dancing featured roles.
It was a seismic change in her life that she brought on herself. "I had an injury, and when I took time off because of it, I had a chance to look around and see what's out there. It's a very insular world, ballet," she says over a yoghurt parfait breakfast in a restaurant here.