A Letter to Ballet Companies on World Ballet Day.
Our daughters dream of becoming ballerinas.
The beauty, the movement, the fairy tales, princesses and princes.
Scarcely does this dream flicker.
Until it is distorted.
Into something unrecognizable.
Ballet has no idea the damage it does.
To our daughters.
To us all.
Alienating ourselves from our bodies.
Demeaning women for centuries.
Male gaze dominates.
A man’s view of a young girl, is the only view.
Grooming young women to seek external gratification for an entire lifetime.
Breeding ground of disordered eating,
identities lost in a sea of blurred flesh.
No faces seen.
For centuries, little girls have dreamed of becoming dancers.
Trained to obey, to be silent, to do as they’re told.
To sacrifice their own voice for the sake of perfection, symmetry.
We can no longer romanticize the male gaze upon young girls and call it art.
Dance has the power to transform.
But not in the treacherous re-telling of women’s weakness. Of tiny young girls, floating in white dresses, towards their prince - a dream that is innocent but manipulated into something disgusting. Seeking excellence and beauty only through one particular gaze.
Our daughters deserve more. Our daughters deserve to shine in a light that illuminates their greatness.
Re-capitulating male dominance, in a world filled with girls.
Female leaders flesh drowned such that no other view is imaginable
A new possibility that cannot be known until we let go of past perfection.
Call out misogynism, elitism, racism, marginalization, and outright abuse of power.
This culture breeds discipline, hard-work, determination, and artistic excellence.
But for what sacrifice.
Alienation of our daughters bodies, so they are no longer their own.
The loss of our daughters voices.
The silencing of little girls.
Who can only stand and look pretty, perfect.
If you do not fit, if you speak out, you are rejected - never to dance again.
Keep our daughters safe.
Let them keep their bodies.
Let them keep their voices.
Let them keep their dances, their own true dance.
Do not take this away from them.
Let them find power in their bodies.
Let them find their voices.
Let our daughters dance.
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