“Discouraged from taking breaks or days off. Dancing through a 101-degree fever. Long-term adrenal taxation. Faculty in my dance department telling me I’ll never make it and I should just give up. Cliques. Body shaming. Alienation. Loneliness. Bullying from peers and faculty members. Favoritism. The constant rat race. This is what the dance department looks like at my University.
It’s been two years since I stopped dancing and although I miss it, it’s been so hard to bring myself back to it. I’ve been in therapy trying to process through my dancing experience. I was so excited to make friends, find dance family, and have fun. Instead, I left my University’s dance program completely exhausted, hurt, and angry. I went in with so much soul and left feeling completely empty and deprived.
Dancing is for every human being who has a body. There is room for everyone at our table, no matter when they started their dance journey or what they look like. One of us is not more entitled to dancing than another. No technique will make up for a rotten heart. Being a good dancer will never be more important than being a good person. And no human being should ever walk away from dance feeling empty or deprived. We need to be better to those around us.”