Remember: The bully is the weaker person. Photo by Francisco Gonzalez/Unsplash

How To Cope If You're Being Bullied

Being bullied, unfortunately, is still a common experience among dance students, particularly male dance students. But there are a variety of strategies that you can use to help deal with difficult emotions and restore self-confidence.


1. Focus on your passion.

Whether it's dance or something else, we all have something that gets us fired up and makes us excited about life. "Focus on that as hard as you possibly can," says modern dancer Chris Bell. "It helps mute out everything around you."

2. Don't keep your struggles to yourself.

"Confide in somebody you trust," says New York City–based tap educator and performer Andrew Nemr, who admits that he often didn't tell his parents about being bullied because of the shame he felt. Most school systems have resources available to guide students through instances of bullying. "Build support mechanisms around you so that if something happens, there are people who will come to help," says Nemr.

Andrew Nemr giving a TED talk. Photo by Ryan Lash, courtesy Nemr.

3. Reverse the narrative.

Tap dancer Leo Lamontagne reminds dancers that the bully is the weaker person: "You can think, 'That's really sad on their part; poor them that they need to bully me.' "

4. Most importantly, don't stop dancing.

"The days that you don't want to do it are the days that you need it the most," says Alex Zarlengo, a principal dancer with contemporary ballet company CONNectic Dance in Hartford, Connecticut. "You're going to come out of a class with an endorphin rush, an emotional high and a sense of accomplishment."

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Courtesy Esse

What It Was Like When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was in the Audience—or Backstage

The 27 years that Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent on the U.S. Supreme Court were 27 years that she spent as one of Washington, D.C.'s most ardent, elegant and erudite supporters of the performing arts. The justice, who died on September 18 of metastatic cancer, was also an avid cultural tourist, traveling to the Santa Fe and Glimmerglass operas nearly every summer, as well as occasionally returning to catch shows in her native New York City.

Ginsburg's opera fandom was well known, but her tastes were wide-ranging. Particularly in the last 10 years of her life, after Ginsburg lost her beloved husband, Marty, it was not unusual for the petite justice and her security detail to be spotted at theaters several nights a week. She saw everything, from classic musicals to serious new plays, plus performances that defied classification, like Martha Clarke's dance drama Chéri, with Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo, which toured to the Kennedy Center in 2014.

To honor Ginsburg, Dance Magazine asked three dance artists whose performances the justice attended to recall what Ginsburg meant to them.

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