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A Lost Relevance of Dance

Sights overlooked on a meticulous art becoming lost in society.
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, but is the modern “Baby” still willing to dance?

Why is dance such a lost art in today’s society? Misty Copeland and Anna Pavlova didn’t put in all that work for nothing.

The strength and technique that goes into this skill, is unimaginable. The sheer amount of pain and hours that go into something, so graceful and beautiful, is incomprehensible to someone not involved in the world of dance. 

Maybe, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing dance is homecoming or simply a school function. The art of even these events changed. Looking at older movies, dance brought people together and brought emotion to draw people in. You wanted to be dancing with them.

Dance is meant to be a binding and inclusive practice. Different cultures have been brought together because of it. You don’t need to speak a certain tongue to dance, it is a universal language.”

So many people have no clue idea what having dance in their life is like, even if they can understand how time-consuming the sport is.

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A dance scene from La La Land a 2016 film performed by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. (Linus Sandgren cinematography)

After speaking with students at SHS Abrielle Choma (a non-dancer) believes that “I think dance is a very time-consuming activity and it also takes a lot of effort, and endurance.”

There is an intense debate about whether dance is a sport and that usually comes down to whether the person is a part of the competition team or not.

As a dancer, there are competitions and even national years throughout the season. That excludes in-house, and out-house conventions, master classes, block schedules, and rehearsals. If any of that didn’t make sense… that would be because you aren’t a dancer.

DWTS performance Mark Ballas choreography. (DWTS film)

From a business perspective, there is a lot to balance when owning a studio. Keeping track of the dancers, angry dance moms (yes… they truly exist), creating a schedule to accommodate recital classes and comp classes. The style for that time of day, the teacher belonging to that group, making over 100 dances that don’t overlap, having songs that have not been done before, rehearsals, and don’t forget to keep it fun: it is a balancing act that could almost compare to our pointe shoes.

Misty Copeland photo shoot on Pointe. (Henry Leutwyler)

There is a big cost to dance as well. You need certain supplies, shoes, and attire. Might I add, for perspective, one pair of pointe shoes costs an average of $100. For professional ballerinas, their shoes ‘die’ in about one week. Misty Copeland has been dancing since age 13, more specifically for 28 years. Suppose she had one pair of pointe shoes every week, which adds up to 1,461 pairs of dead shoes costing 146,100 dollars. Now, that is only one style of dance and one kind of shoe. You can do the rest of the math. 

Today, there can be a sense of embarrassment that comes along with dancing. We have fixated on our image, and what we are perceived as by followers and peers. It can destroy a yearning for creativity through dance because people are too afraid to experiment artistically. 

Dance is meant to be a binding and inclusive practice. Different cultures have been brought together because of it. You don’t need to speak a certain tongue to dance, it is a universal language. 

Though the benefit of dance is so loved, it still is dying, people have lost an appreciation for this art, and it is truly sad. However, it can be saved when we share knowledge. We just need to learn the choreography.

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About the Contributor
Marina Astrella
Marina Astrella, Staff Reporter
I am a senior at Sutton High School. In my free time, I am a dancer at H&H Dance Academy in Millbury. This will be my 15th season, and my fourth season on the competition team. My favorite color right now is orange, and I love listening to music, especially going to concerts.

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  • R

    RubyMar 22, 2024 at 9:31 pm

    Professional dancers go through pointe shoes a lot faster than recreational dancers. A professional dancer will go through a pair in a day or two, maybe less if they’re full time or a principal dancer.