Growing up, people used to make fun and look down on me because I was so passionate about dance. They laughed when I said I couldn’t go to a birthday party because of Nutcracker rehearsal, and gave dirty looks when I said I couldn’t go to the high school football game because I had to go to ballet class. My friends never understood why I went away for a month over the summer to dance. To this day, people do not understand the passion that I have for dance. For all dancers out there, dance is life, and outsiders have a hard time realizing that. What non-dancers also don’t realize is that dance is everywhere and full of opportunities. My favorite question is, “So what are you going to do with dance? Become a stripper?” People don’t see that dance is all around them. It’s on the stage, in commercials, in music videos, in movies, in parades, in shows, on the computer, and that is what makes the art of dance so special. That is what we work hard for. Others work hard to get a good job, and we work hard to have the opportunities to do what we love.
When people watch music videos, musicals, parades, etc. they see the dancers, but they don’t see what hard work is put into it, and that is why people don’t appreciate dance as much as they should. They don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears going on backstage. But honestly, their views on dance don’t make a difference, because they will never have some of the incredible opportunities dancers do. Take music videos for example. Will a non-dancer ever have the opportunity to dance with famous musical artists like Britney Spears, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, or Justin Timberlake? Most likely not. Dance is what makes a music video so entertaining. Take Britney Spears’ first music video “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” A non-dancer may just see a girl with pigtails, but the other dancers in the video are the ones that make the video entertaining. Take a pretty girl with pigtails plus back up dancers and that makes a pretty darn good music video.
Movies and television also have hundreds of opportunities for dancers. Movies including Grease, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, You Got Served, High School Musical (which is my personal favorite, especially the third one), and many others have huge dancing roles. There are also television shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew that all offer opportunity for all aspiring dancers. The thing about dance in the media is that I think that it is starting to show others how special dance is. Ever since SYTYCD aired, people are slowly coming to appreciate what dancers do, and the passion they have for it. SYTYCD reveals what dancers go through both backstage and onstage, and when non-dancers see the tears, work, passion, sweat, and love, it makes them understand what a dancer’s life is like.
People today, may not have full appreciation for the dance world, but they are slowly coming around thanks to the media. The opportunities dancers have don’t even compare to non-dancers. Movies, commercials, Broadway, music videos, and the list goes on and on. So the next time someone asks you the question, “So what are you going to do with dance? Become a stripper?” you can laugh and explain to them all of the opportunities there are in the dance world, and then they will feel stupid.