Regular readers of Dance Advantage might already know the popular article, Is Dance a Field in Danger by Lauren Warnecke.
I added my thoughts in the comments section. Please click over to read it as it will give some clarity to the following points.
Essentially, we need to find responsibility in engagement from both the creative and education viewpoints.
- To me, this means eliminating the self-indulgence so often present in choreographers’ works these days. How? See my comment to Lauren’s article at the link above.
- To me, this means demanding that dance showcased on television use its power to inform and expand ideas rather than promoting the underbelly of the dance education culture and giving in to all-too-common images people have of dance as rooted in athleticism and not artistry.
- To me, this means that we teach to the masses (dance enthusiasts) and support the minorities (dancers) in specific and nuanced ways. Teaching every student as if they are preparing for a performing career is unrealistic and a real missed opportunity in developing people that care about dance and are likely to fund it. This might also address the volume of people that have their self-esteem crushed for not measuring up and therefore leave dance forever, unwilling or unable to bring themselves to buy a ticket.
I am so thankful that Lauren wrote this piece and has created a platform for the discussion from Dance/USA conference to continue. I am so thankful that Nichelle has created Dance Advantage, a great resource for artists and educators alike.