I love dance, I hate dance
When did it all become so complicated? Since when do 6 year olds learn fouettes? Why are we killing our kids by pushing them to spend 20, 30, 40 hours a week in the studio before they even turn 10? What is the hurry? Why are they working more and more hours, and wearing less and less clothes, dancing more and more sexually, all to get a bigger trophy, recognized by a bigger agent, and seen as the “best in…” I hate all of this. I hate the elitism of it. I hate the frenzy we’ve worked our dance moms into to get their kids farther and faster. I hate that it is no longer a family friendly environment to send our kids to competitions, but instead hours upon hours of Vegas style, strip worthy (double meaning intended) dancing. Most people would walk away from dance at this point. Go on to do some artwork or computer programming or another creative but “safe” venue. Not me. I can’t not dance. I can’t not create dances.
So who am I? Well, I am obviously a concerned mother. A mother of five to be exact, all dancers, and hoping for more. But it might also surprise you that I am also a dancer. Not just a dancer, but a former competition team director, studio owner, dance graduate, and currently, professional dance company artistic director. So between changing diapers, driving all over creation, wiping noses, drying tears, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, putting on bandaids, and doing endless laundry, I also spend several hours a week with my hair in a bun, wearing leggings and that perfect thickness and texture of socks, sweating like crazy as I try and get myself and my dancers to find a new depth of expression, nail those quadruple pirrouettes, and build our stamina for our next show or video taping.
So yes, I love dance. I love TO dance, I love to make dances, and I love to teach dance. I don’t love the dance world. In many ways I REALLY don’t like the dance world. I don’t care for the dog eat dog environment, the kill yourself to get the next best job, the worship of the prestigious and “successful” in the field, and that blatant ignoring of anyone that doesn’t further your career. I don’t watch the dance shows (unless I’m really really sick in bed and bored out of my mind). I don’t name drop. I do ensure in my roundabout way that my kids get excellent dance training, and I do create beautiful work and shows that I am proud of, and I do make a difference in the lives of the dancers I work with.
And so I start this blog to journal my experiences in dance, my opinions about the dance world, and to offer an alternative way to think about dance for anyone else that is disgruntled with dance in general for similar reasons. I will warn you, however, that there will be little to no name dropping, and minimal quoting of other sources. This is intentionally a place for MY opinions. I want to change the things I don’t like. In so many ways this seems like an impossible mountain to move, and certainly if I’m the only one that feels this way, I may get very strong muscles trying to move it, but won’t see the change I hope for. But maybe, just maybe I can create something different. I’m going to stick around to see what will happen as this all unfolds. Join me if you’d like 🙂