Madonna Leaves College to Dance

Her ballet teacher persuaded her to pursue a career in dance, so she left the college at the end of 1977 and relocated to New York City.

Madonna had little money at that time and hence lived in squalor, working as a waitress in Dunkin' Donuts and with modern dance troupes. Of her move to New York, Madonna said, "It was the first time I'd ever taken a plane, the first time I'd ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I'd ever done." While performing as a dancer for the French disco artist Patrick Hernandez on his 1979 world tour, Madonna became romantically involved with the musician Dan Gilroy, with whom she later formed her first rock band, the Breakfast Club, in New York.