Hart, who is 48, says she is leaving because she was only cast in one short pas de deux this season. "The difficulty is that I've never been someone who has wanted to go out there and overstay my time," she said, "nor go on stage and not live up to the expectations of the profession, of the art form. The hardest thing is to be made to feel that somehow I have overstayed my welcome."
She added that she has not been cast in any of the company's recent hits.
Artistic Director Andre Lewis said that it has been difficult to cast Hart, since her retirement has been imminent for the last five years, and because she had surgery for a foot injury earlier this year. He said, "What we have tried to do essentially is to support her well within what she felt she could do and the best we could offer."
Hart is currently negotiating a settlement with the company, and plans to move to Toronto and continue to perform.
After briefly attending the National Ballet School in Toronto, Hart moved to the Royal Winnipeg School and joined the company, as a member of the corps de ballet, in 1976. She became a principal dancer three years later.