Stereotypes Associated With Dance

By Le Anh Metzger

Introduction

I created a presentation that will get people to stop making stereotypes about dance. In this presentation, I state different stereotypes associated with dance and tell you why these aren't always true. The stereotypes I will be talking about are dance isn't a sport, dance is not a real job, dancers don't eat, dancers are stuck up, all male dancers are gay, and all styles of dance is the same. I chose this topic because I am a dancer and I know that many dancers-including me- get offended by some of these stereotypes, and that some even quit because of them.

Stereotype 1: Dance Isn't a Sport

Lots of people say that dance isn't a sport because you don't do any exercise in it. This is far from true. Dancers must have lots of strength, or else they will not be able to achieve harder steps. Also, dance can hurt, just like in any other sport, or more. Dancers get blisters on their feet, their skin rips off, they also twist their ankles too, and if they get injured while performing, they have to finish the performance. Dancers also dance A LOT. One person from an article said that they danced 20 hours in one weekend. Lastly, dancers also SWEAT.


Personal note/fact: I dance between 6 and 9.5 hours a week(that's almost everyday). Also, all my dance friends and I come out of dance sweating.

Picture: one foot, looks beautiful in the pointe shoe, but the other foot is what is on the inside, or after you dance; full of pain.

Video(below)

The video is Maddie Zeigler. Even though she fell and hurt herself, she had to finish the dance before she could run off and get help.
Maddie Ziegler - Spanish Dance - FULL UNAIRED best angle!!

Stereotype 2: Dance Is Not a Real Job

This second stereotype is similar to the first. It is saying that dance is not something because you don't do anything. Like a "real" job, in dance, you listen to feedback, correct things, retry things, and more. Also, people say that professional sports players have jobs, and if you are a professional in dance, it is the same thing, because as I just said, dance is a sport. Also, the definition of job is "a paid position of regular employment" and " a task or piece of work, especially one that is paid.'. Professional dancers and dance teachers both get paid, which makes it a job. And now to dance teachers. A teacher is a job, so a dance teacher is a job too.


Personal note: all my dance friends want to do something with dance when we grow up, don't crush that dream with stereotypes.

Picture: Abby Lee Miller, a famous dance teacher.

Stereotype 3: Dancers Don't Eat

This stereotype is one I saw on the internet a lot. This stereotype is also, far from true. Because dance takes so much energy(as I stated before in "dance isn't a sport"), dancers need to eat a lot. If not, they will not be able to dance to the best of their ability. Some people think that dancers don't eat because some are very skinny, but dancers do eat, some are just skinny because dancers dance and sweat a lot. Although (most) dancers are aware of what they eat, they still eat.


Personal Note: Me and my dance friends all eat tons before and after dance:)

Stereotype 4: Dancers are Stuck Up

I also saw this stereotype on the internet a lot. This stereotype is not true for all people because there can be snobby people anywhere, in any job or sport, not just in dance. For some dancers, competition is fierce, but for most, they are all still friends and a team. Being stuck up is about your personality, not your hobby, sport, or profession. A quote from 'ballet shoes and bobby pins' says "It has everything to do with the person and nothing to do with ballet". This is exactly true.


Personal note: to be honest, all my dance friends are the sweetest people in the world. We also help each other stretch ALL the time.

Picture: two dancers helping each other stretch

Stereotype 5: All Male Dancers are Gay

I have heard this stereotype before and it is terrible. This stereotype prevents boys from dancing(especially ballet) because they are afraid people are gonna think this stereotype of him. This also discourages boys who dance and causes them to stop, even if they like it. Once again, this quote from 'ballet shoes and bobby pins' comes into hand."It has everything to do with the person and nothing to do with ballet".


Personal note: one of my male dance teachers has a girlfriend

Picture: male dancer

Stereotype 6: All Styles of Dance are the Same

There is a countless number of styles of dance like classical ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary, swing, belly dancing, African, Indian, Irish, ballroom, flamenco, folk, and so much more. Many styles originate from different places. Each style has it's own set of steps and moves, and each style has it's own goals and aspirations. If all styles were the same, why would they have different names?


Personal note: I currently take two styles of dance, ballet and jazz, and just the two styles are very different.

Picture(below): different styles of dance, look how different they are from each other.