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Microaggressions, stereotypes, double-standards, discrimination, unwanted come-ons, manipulation, isolation, bad jokes, and pithy comments: ABUSES OF POWER and SEXISM in the ARTS and in DANCE come in all shapes and sizes.

Using art as a backdrop is not an excuse.  Change the names, be anonymous, but don't let little perpetrations go unnoticed, no matter how big or small.

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Abuse of power has to stop.

"When I sit down to think about it, to really go back to the place in my brain that numbed shit out i realize there are countless situations, manipulations, comments that affected my self worth to such a degree that they affected the men I chose to be with later on. I'm only now at 34 years old dealing with residual build up and acknowledgement in an outspoken way. This platform to express ones abuses subtle or large is important to evacuate to let it be said that " no it's not ok" , however people, especially those in a position of power, will play it down. 

Here is a list of experiences, comments and stories I've dealt with:

Starting at 17yr old a choreographer set a solo on me. I improvised to a track of music where the only words were "silence is sexy" . I had to improvise to this in front of all my peers and alone in the studio with him. At the time it was confusing because I was being given "special attention" and a solo so in some weird way that was supposed to feel like a privilege. I've never written that story down until today.

In ballet school one teacher would always comment if i wore lipstick how pretty it made me look and it would make him happy if i was closer to him at the bar. 

The director at the ballet school told me my body was better suited for the beach than ballet.

i was doing the nutcracker one year and the director saw me backstage he looked at my face and said, "wow you should be in my nutcracker", I told him I already was....

After landing my first professional contract the director took me rock climbing . As we were hanging out he brought up the rumours of me dating a particular guy. It made me feel uncomfortable and made me question why was this any of his business...?

There was specific psychological trauma from one director in particular. I was living in a foreign country and 21yrs at the time. I got the job after a cattle call 300ppl audition. He told me I had got the job but that I had serious work to do if i wanted to stay. He made me give myself a number to rate myself. I gave myself a 7 (as if we can rate ourselves with numbers!) and he told me I was more like a 3. Over a two year period of time my self worth diminished with every day. I remember him asking me if i was pregnant because i looked bigger. He told me to do push ups and always told me how weak I was. I was his downstairs tenant so he would come into the apartment whenever he pleased . On one of our tours our rooms were right next to each other and i heard him jerking off real loudly, it felt intentional. He had a way of making women feel special one second then being a total asshole the next. 

It's sad to say but I really do feel like the feelings of belittlement i endured in that company lead me to be with the father of my first child who, though im no longer with today, I still have to deal with on going verbal abuse. Very recently he told me to shut up in front of my child. I explained to my child how this kind of behaviour is not ok calmly but in the moment i feel such rage and injustice at the situation it makes me want to scream. Makes me feel for all the women and men who are in abusive and manipulative relationships. Even when you are out of them the trauma is still there and can take a long time to heal. It helps to share and write these stories out. I still feel like I have a lot of healing to do but it empowers me to share and to hear others stories."