Throughout this case study there are many controversial topics that are still going around in the arts today

Throughout this case study there are many controversial topics that are still going around in the arts today

Throughout this case study there are many controversial topics that are still going around in the arts today (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018) and looking at the positive and negative expectations and stigmas (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) placed upon dancers will be explored. For a dancer, they need to be aware of the boundaries that are stopping them to be able to break through and rise above these stigmas and the bullying (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). These things often have drastic effects on a dancer’s progression and confidence (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). In this topic, it will be informing to help educate and have a greater understanding of what issues are going on in today’s world still.

In the dance world stereotypes are a massive thing. Being a male or a female dancer there is a great pressure of standards to live up to and that are associated in the dance world. It’s now becoming more of a common thing from students to more advanced training. As the dance world is stereotyped to be considered more of a feminine activity (Breaking the Male Dancer Stigma, 2018) that females should ‘only’ be seen doing this makes it a challenge for male dancers because of this.

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Gender Stereotypes
Most people believe that the dance world is very much seen as a feminine art form which comes along with assumptions that all dancers are feminine. This is proven wrong as its important to a dancer (male and female) that they have strength as its required to have a certain amount of strength to be able to execute movements. Though, having strength shown by female dancers is not always recognised as males are seen to be the more ‘masculine’ (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). Female and male dancer face many stereotypes, which can make them vulnerable as they experience things that can concern their size, ability, masculinity, femininity, etc. However, dancers become stronger and it helps them because they put up with all these stereotypes and they learn to rise above the hateful things (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). This makes them physically strong as well as mentally strong.

The most common stereotype for a female dancer is that they are too thin / skinny. This is so common as the female prima ballerina is stereotyped tall and skinny. In fact, every dancer comes in all shapes and sizes which makes them unique (“The Damaging Stereotype Dancers Are Tired of Fighting”, 2018). Though when a female dancer does have to audition the body will be scrutinize on the size and look of it, this is not to be taken personally though as the company is looking for a certain look to cater for the company’s needs (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).
A survey has been conducted and it shows that 4 out of 5 male dancers have experienced negative discrimination against them for being dancers (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). This is because the dance world is seen more of a feminine art form, males are associated with many stereotypes (Breaking the Male Dancer Stigma, 2018). Males are expected to have certain masculine qualities that show ‘dominance, authority, strength and a lack of emotions’ (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) in this art form, and it is appearing that in today society there hasn’t been a change to this stereotype, as this is how it is expected of males to look (“The Male Dancer”, 2018). There are males out there that don’t fit the ideal image, however this doesn’t change who they are as a male and it doesn’t make them any less of a male. As it is seen more as a feminine art form, males get stereotyped that because they dance it means that they are ‘gay’ (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).

Jobs Stereotypes for Male and Females
First topic is looking at the stereotypes between a male and female dancer as there are so many different views about what people see as the “stereotypical dancer” (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). For example, many people still believe that dancing is a profession that male dancers should not be seen doing or have as a job because it is seen more as a female dominated occupation (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). However, times have changed and it is now becoming more “acceptable” for males to pursue a career in dance (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). In fact, males have a lot easier time getting into the top conservatories (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018) or getting into companies.

Male and Female: Partnering / Lifting Stereotype
In addition, when there is contact work between a male and female dancer the males are generally always seen lifting (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). This then gives the audiences think that only males are capable of lifting (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018) and females aren’t strong enough to lift males. It potentially makes females look weaker and not skillful enough to lift males. This is a powerful picture as it challenges the views of males and females and how the roles can be reversed (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). To others, this can be uncomfortable because it challenges the normal, but nevertheless, does it make it bad to see females doing male parts. Today, almost every new dance that enters the dance world challenges what normal is. Equality in the gender roles and making sure that people are educate in exactly what is happening in the arts and wanting to break down those barriers that have been created (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

Another example, is when you see male and female dances in pictures, it is always shown that the male dancer is the stronger dance and that it should be all males that are lifting the female and that is how it should stay (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). By doing this, woman tend to feel uneasy about wanting to challenge those barriers (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018) so they decide that being lifted and having the male do everything is better. This is demonstrated to audiences a lot in pictures when males are always seen doing the lifting, there is aren’t as many pictures around where you see females having the opportunity to lift. It shouldn’t be an issue if females are seen lifting male’s and whether they are breaking the ‘normal’ of what is happening between male and female dancers today (“The Damaging Stereotype Dancers Are Tired of Fighting”, 2018). When a female has the strength she should show it off and if they are willing to lift a male, then why not? People shouldn’t have such an issue with it and see it as ‘abnormal’ (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

Stereotypes with Males and Female in Different Dance Styles
There are many stereotypes that are within the different styles of dance and they all have different expectations when it comes to the roles that the different genders must over or live up to (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). As always, there have always been gender stereotypes and it today’s society, more people are breaking down the barriers and challenging the ‘normal’ of today (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). In the arts world, this is a strong and bold thing to do because the aspects in the dance world are set and for someone to speak out challenge is really shows a sense of passion and courage (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

Contemporary is one of the few genres that has a big influence in changing the views and breaking down barriers that have formed through the years (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). For example, in classical ballet its always seen with males dancing with females and there’s never much of the same sex dancing together when it comes to creating duets or lifting / partnering (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). However, when it comes to contemporary dance, same sex couples are now seen more dancing together and creating beautiful pieces of work demonstrating the importance of a mixture of dancers (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). It comes back to the point of how people are demonstrating and challenging the ‘normal’ and creating a new ‘normal’ (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

Contact Improvisation
Considering contact improvisation, it’s clear that two genders will need to work together to create something good and have a good outcome by the end of the creative process (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). Even though, contact improvisations involves learning about weight of two people in movement. It’s learnt by having one dancer move, while the other dancer follows and goes off what the other dancer did. The improvisation can include anything, sharing weight, lifting each other with different parts of their body. Having the trust and being able to rely on each other is something that is important for the improvisation itself can run smoothly (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

As each dance style is different due to the era it was formed in, and who the person was that crated that style of dance, it’s important to know as it determines that way it is and therefore is the reasoning for these specific gender roles (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018). An example of this would be, looking at ballet, in 1661 ballet was formed and back then females were mainly seen dancing and it was unheard of for males to dance. This is where the stereotype has come about with males dancing these days because it’s such a big thing for males to be doing ballet and it is such a well-promoted style of dance for males (“Different Gender Stereotypes in Dance”, 2018).

Where is there Such a Divide?
There has always been a major divide with dancers, choreographers with how they are perceived, and for what ‘roles’ they do within the dance world (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). However, the public and dancers are becoming more open-minded about certain stereotypes and not letting them define who they are in this world. Though, in this world there is still a great divide between the number of female choreographers to the number of male choreographers (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018)
Being a female in the dance world they are overlooked and their ideas are never taken seriously when it comes to the creative choreographic side (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). Whereas males are the creative and leading ones within the dance world and that’s why opportunity open for them and they can create different piece of work and show off to the public (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).

Having this stereotype about male and female choreographers makes the public think about what the generations of today think. Females aren’t meant to be choreographers and directors; however, this stereotype has been formed and changed due to the male to female ratio of directors (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). Within the performing arts world, it’s important that both male and female should be considered to has equal chance and opportunity (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). It’s been discussed that not a lot of people especially in the dance world, males and females are not willing to stand up to what they think is right and what they think society wants them to do (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) because that is all they know. Speaking up should be something everything needs to start doing to shut down unnecessary stereotypes and to prove to the world males and females should be treated equally (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).

Changing Stereotypes
Changing stereotypes is a question of how to stop them and make everyone more accepting (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) to the dance world. There have been multiple professionals that have attempted (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) to change the way people view stereotypes.

An example of trying to change stereotypes has been with choreographers. They have created and worked with particularly masculine people such as; builders, rugby players, and football players (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). The choreographers have specially done this to prove and demonstrate that dancing isn’t a ‘feminine’ art form (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). An opposite example for that, that’s had an opposite effect is the supermarket adverts, they display dance in a feminine way even though they are nations favourite and are comical to watch (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). The examples of what the adverts include:
– Amused by showcasing men in heals ‘strutting their stuff’ which gives the impression that dancers are ‘gay’ (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).
– A builder which is usually consider a very masculine role, portraying a character displaying femininity, which is showcased through dancing because the advert used dance as a ‘feminine factor’ (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).

In the dance world, there is diversity that has been discovered. Unfortunately, there are stereotypes that if you aren’t a certain size or don’t fit in, the dancer won’t succeed (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). Even though, dancers are all different and unique in their own way, by accepting who they are is something that has changed in some areas of the world because now there are dancers out there that are of all sizes and whose strengths are in a completely different place (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). The corporations and the organisations have started to change the way that view dancers should look, its only stereotyped that dancers should have look a certain look because of the way the public views what dancers should look like and be like, but, at the end of the day, they aren’t educated in dance so they don’t have any idea what they are talking about (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).

Dance is not the only thing a dancer learns when in a dance class, they learn how to use their body to their full potential and it teaches them life skills for example, working in a team, how to care for everyone in the team and having trust (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) within the team and self-trust.

In conclusion, the solution to stereotypes is that if people are educated correctly and understand what a stereotype is, things will change, especially in the next future generations things can be fixed. When a stereotype is made up, it’s easy to get caught up in the facts and here is little that can be done (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). However, a stereotype is something that will never go away or get away from, so knowing who you are as a person and knowing what it is you want. Dancers or anyone who is up for the challenge to become a dancer should go into the dance worlds and fight for what they want and earn (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018) everything you place. So, in the dance world, it’s important that dancers know they have the right to earn their place in what it is that they want and they go and get whatever they want to achieve (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018). Strength is something every dancer needs to be aware of, no matter what your size, sexuality, if the dancer loves what they do, no matter what they will be a successful dancer (“Challenging stereotypes in dance.”, 2018).


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