Why do I instantly want to hug anyone who says they are or were a dancer?
Because I think they have probably experienced at least some of the following..
-Suppressing the pain of being told they are not good enough over and over
-Comments about their body needing to be different
-Feeling like they constantly have to be improving
-Working long days and nights without appreciation
-Coping with constant feedback
-Having to weigh and measure themselves for work
-Wondering if it’s all worth it
-Pushing themselves past limits
-Putting on a show face when they feel broken
-The uncertainty of when the next work will come
-Working part time jobs they hate
-Having to be in competition with peers
-Feeling they can be replaced in an instant
-People saying its not ‘real’ work
-Taught to be resilient and do whatever it takes to get work
-Putting up a protection guard to not show their true selves from rejection
-Losing the passion of what dancing once was
-Taking all of this since they were young
The list goes on..
There is so much more behind the smiling face you see on the stage. Dance is physically and psychologically draining. So much to contend with and no room for error.
Its a shame there seems to be so much trauma in something that should be the embodiment of freedom.
How do you think we can improve how dancers are treated?