Over the weekend I came across the video footage of Good Morning America host Lara Spencer mocking young Prince George for taking (and – gasp – enjoying) ballet lessons.
The reaction of the international dance community against Spencer’s words was swift and damning, and Spencer was publicly apologising within 24 hours.
For those of us who live immersed in dance, it seems inconceivable that Spencer was unaware that her comments would be considered not just outdated but insensitive and offensive.
I think, however, that the reality is that many people still hold these views – views that, to us, seem at best hopelessly old-fashioned and at worst damaging and dangerous.
Though I was initially shocked by Spencer’s words, on reflection, I wasn’t that surprised. I’ve certainly heard non-dance contemporaries laugh at the suggestion that their young sons might like to take up ballet.
While Lara Spencer's comments are a wake-up call that there is still much to be done when it comes to gender stereotypes and dance, the huge and very public backlash to her remarks will surely help to spread the word... #boysdancetoo.
- Nina Levy
Pictured top: The Australian Ballet's Kevin Jackson. Photo: Justin Ridler.