Letter To The Editor: "Thank You For Starting Discussions That Will Bring Change"
Dear Dance Magazine,
Thank you for demonstrating a commitment to transparency and evolution during this divisive time in our country. Over the past few years I have seen the Dance Magazine content reflect increased awareness about the value of inclusion and diversity in U.S. culture. It also has highlighted the need for the dance industry culture to self-examine and pursue constant revisions (just as dancers themselves do).
I am impressed with the honesty of Dance Magazine about topics that before have not been approached from a critical standpoint. There are many shifts that would help the dance world move forward. The mental and physical health of dancers along with financial stability of dance professionals should continue to improve. In the past three years I have seen wonderful coverage about depression, body image issues and dance salaries, among other topics.
Your coverage about the issues with employees at New York City Ballet was honest and attentive. An industry magazine takes a leap of faith in sharing the news with dance-loving readers across the country.
Because dance is viewed as a feminine energy in the western world, there remain pervasive challenges with our industry. I do not believe any students or professionals would like the weaker aspects of the dance world to persist. By being a publication that does not hide these realities, Dance Magazine is starting conversations in dance studios and companies across the country that will lead to leadership and reform.
Dance needs to be lifted up to a deserving place in the U.S. culture and work world. We need dancers to be paid what the stagehands and orchestra members are. We need federal, state and municipal government support for our performance and education activities. We need jobs in universities to be paid equally to what medical and business professors are paid. We need female apprentices to be given housing stipends if the men receive them.
There is no doubt in my mind that dancers are one of the most intelligent populations partially thanks to dancing and dance training. The work ethic, creativity and problem-solving abilities of dancers is impeccable.
Therefore I believe, we can do this dance world. We can educate society about our incredible value. Dance Magazine is helping lead the way by not hiding from problems, but by starting discussions that will bring change.
What more can
Dance Magazine do to move the field forward and start worthwhile conversations? Please share your thoughts in the comments.