Sometimes ballet dancers post their opinions on their public social media accounts – people like Allison deBona (BalletWest), Lauren Cuthbertson (the Royal Ballet) and Ashley Bouder (NYCB) talk about things like motherhood, feminism, ballet teachers, Brexit, voting…and some of these opinions can be polarizing.
And that is fair enough – we don’t and shouldn’t have to agree on everything. What I take umbrage with is people thinking that artists, be they dancers, actors, singers etc, should only talk about things overtly related to their job. The age old “politics has no place in ballet/[insert art form of your choice]!” argument, so to speak.
I have been a big fan of politics ever since I was 12 and was swept up in the ~drama~ of Bush versus Gore (you might have gotten an idea of how much I love politics if you’ve seen my Trump/Kim/ballet mashups on instagram); I loved it so much that one of my teenage ambitions was to be Christian Amanpour, which horrified my parents, who were not keen on the idea of me travelling to war-torn countries to cover breaking news stories and refused to let me study for a journalism degree in university. We did, however, compromise with degrees in political science and law.
So when Lauren Cuthbertson received vitriol along those lines of people saying she had no place to express that opinion when she made a ‘Stop Brexit’ on instagram, I finally decided to put my political science degree to direct use and break down the myth that politics has no place in ballet.