By Anugraha Hadke:
I’ve always been a dancer, but only attended my first dance class about 3 months ago. While fulfilling this childhood dream has given me a lot of happiness, one thing about the way we’re taught unsettles me a lot.
During almost every class, our instructors tell the women to dance ‘sexy’, and the men to be ‘macho’. We are constantly warned to look like a specific way – that is heavily dependent on gender stereotypes. When, and more importantly why, did dance get boxed into the gender binary? And I just don’t get it. Ever since I started dancing, it has always been a way of expressing myself, a source of sheer joy. A dancer is beautiful, not because they are ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, but because they are able to share their passion with their bodies and movement.
And a huge proof of this is French choreographer and dancer Yanis Marshall, a finalist at Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, and now a famous name on social media for being the ‘male dancer in high heels’. His style of dancing is sharp, full of energy, and not to mention extremely tough to do – I can’t even walk straight in stilettos.
Some have called it “effeminate”, but Marshall’s work showcases sheer power and beautiful art. He has smashed gender stereotypes around dance with every kickass move. With at least 2 million views on almost all of his YouTube videos, it’s obvious that gender has nothing to do with good dancing.