Winning the title of “Mr. or Miss [insert competition name here]” has long been considered the pinnacle of a competitive career. For decades, whether dancers actually identified with those gendered accolades—or the many other gender-based features of competition and convention weekends—was hardly ever questioned. Slowly, that’s beginning to change.
Over the last few years, my experience as a transgender nonbinary person has been quite a tumultuous and beautiful revolution within my body. It’s been a confusing and quiet eruption, but I’m so immersed in myself, in love with myself and learning to trust in myself in ways I didn’t believe were possible.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, “it was my heart’s desire to create change in the world,” he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer. Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. […]
The smell and look of a dance studio is one that will be part of every dancer’s life forever. The hard work is tangible in the air. The marley floor is a plaque that marks our failures and success. Yet for me, the studio is where I learned to hide my transgender self. I have […]
I love being transgender. It’s an important part of the story of why I choreograph. Although I loved dance from a very young age, I grew up never seeing a single person like me in dance. So how could I imagine a future for myself there? The enormous barriers I had to overcome weren’t internal: […]
I’m a transgender ballet dancer (male to female) who desperately wants to perform in a professional company. I haven’t come out about my gender because I’m afraid it will hurt my career. Yet it feels wrong to do male variations and have my teachers tell me to be more masculine. What can I do? —Anonymous […]
For Sean Dorsey, the dance studio used to be a source of pain that had nothing to do with dancing. “I would go to the women’s dressing room and change there,” he says. “That was, every day, this kind of knife in my heart.” Though the classes thrilled him, having to use facilities that didn’t […]