There are copious reasons why dancers should be taken seriously. Today, dance is often placed on the back burner in regard to sports or activities that receive maximum state and federal funding, a not so subtle indication of how dance is viewed. It has been a long journey for dancers everywhere, constantly having to prove themselves to outsiders of the art. Martha Graham once stated, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” When keeping this list in mind, you will see that her statement fully embodies why dancers should be taken seriously.
1. Skills (to Pay the Bills)
Being a dancer requires effort and artistry, making this one of the most important reasons why dancers should be taken seriously. Dancers spend years honing their skills, hosting an unwavering dedication to prove that dance is more than just a hobby. With the amount of time spent self-critiquing and perfecting every move, praise should be given where it's due!
I know from experience that it takes an exceeding amount of stamina to maintain a dance lifestyle, whether you dance professionally or are an amateur (as I lean towards the latter). Being able to move in often undesirable temperatures and under tight conditions is no simple feat; dancers don't view being out of breath as a reason to stop. It is all about pushing yourself to reach new heights.
3. Aim to Please
I am not afraid to admit I was first drawn to dancing because of the aesthetically pleasing performances. I've always been intrigued by the amount of planning that goes into dancing. It's cool to see that every little detail – from the intricate costumes to the positions the dancers take on stage – has been perfected to command attention.
4. Sense of Community
It's no mystery that spending so much time in rehearsals and practice runs allows dancers to forge relationships with one another. The want to form tight bonds alone commands respect. I view my experience in dance club as one of the greatest points in my college career, serving as an indicator of just how vital dance is to the youth of today. Dance aided in shaping who I am today; the best part of being co-president was being supported by such an astounding group of individuals who shared my love of dancing and encouraged expression.
5. Just You
Putting yourself out there in front of a blank audience can be incredibly nerve-wracking. I admire dancers for their willingness to adapt to any situation when in the presence of others. Joining my dance club was very rewarding because I never felt like I had to prove myself, even though it was the first time I ever danced.
“I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance.” George Balanchine's words have always kept me grounded because of their humbling nature. Dancers do not see dancing as a means to an end; they dance because they are in awe of all that it has to offer. The sheer determination displayed by dancers everywhere is truly awe-inducing and commendable.
My favorite aspect of dancing revolves around the fact that the genres to choose from are plenteous. Whether you are into the energetic genres of jazz, theatre and swing or prefer to transition to a calmer and smoother choice, such as lyrical and contemporary, the point is that dance has something for everyone. Dancers are extremely versatile when it comes to their craft.
I've always felt that the rewarding career of dancing should be interchangeable with other careers that are taken seriously. Friedrich Nietzsche could not have spoken words more true when he stated that “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” What dancer or performance convinced you that dancing is indeed important?