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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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Many Stories

#1 The pianist at a renown ballet school in North Carolina started to bring a webcam at some point. Every class he would set it on the piano in plain sight. I think he said it was to help him see what we were doing or to learn how to better accompany us. That's total bullshit. He filmed a class full of women wearing just a leotard and tights every single day. Many of us were uncomfortable with it and questioned it. Nothing was ever really done about it from what I know. And he wasn't exactly the type you wouldn't question... he had a creeper vibe. It still blows my mind that he was actually allowed to do that.

#2 A Balanchine Trust repetiteur once took me aside and told me that I'd be much more successful if I were considerably thinner... and her advice was to eat only breakfast every day, nothing else. I had just recently graduated from school... and my body was still growing.

#3 At a dress rehearsal in the studio the week before the first performances, I was wearing my Swan Lake tutu and was trying to adjust the straps so they'd be more comfortable on my shoulders when the ballet mistress came over and slapped my hand away from the straps saying "stop touching it". Still to this day I don't understand why me moving the straps around was such a huge issue to her. And then in the same rehearsal, I got yelled at for wearing a metal clip in my hair. It was not a "full makeup/hair/costume rehearsal". We were in the studio, simply trying to see if the costumes fit well. And I'm told "I hope you're not gonna wear THAT in your hair." OF COURSE NOT! 

#4 The conductor started the music for my coda during a performance before I had arrived at my spot and prepared to start. After telling him about this mistake afterwards and explaining that this is the choreography and that he has to wait for me to do a certain pose before starting, his answer was "well it's too boring, come on, the audience is gonna fall asleep, I can't wait that long".

#5 Had one rehearsal for a pas de deux, then heard or did nothing else about it for a week. After asking what is the situation, why am I not getting any more rehearsal, getting the answer: "Well, you look good and can definitely do it, but in reality you can't be more than a cover for the role, you can't have any performances because you are new in the company and you are corps de ballet... and there will be a scandal if you get a show of this." ... I'd been dancing professionally for about 8 years already, and had done other good roles in other companies.

#6 Not entirely in the dance world, but related to my dancing... I got contacted by a photographer on twitter to meet and discuss a photoshoot. So we met in a cafe. The project sounded cool until he said I would have to be naked and that he requests that I wax everywhere completely, and that something had to be done about the frizz of my hair of course... and the proceeded to ask to do a "test shoot" that same day... suggesting we do it in my apartment and on my balcony. That's a lot of red flags... I said bye.