How Lara Spencer’s Negativity Greatly Impacted the Male Dance Community

Charles Sykes/ Invision/AP

Jasmeen Rivera, Reporter

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Both Lara Spencer, co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, and her ignorant comments on Prince George’s love for ballet, have turned the heads of the male dance community in the most powerful way possible. After mocking the little Prince’s point of passion, Spencer was met with a wave of social media hate and tributes to all of the male greats of dance. Many have gathered to protest the thoughts of “boys can’t do ballet.” This also includes big names in the dance community, including Travis Wall, Fabrice Calmels, and Robbie Fairchild. Now the real question is: why in the world are social gender norms still a thing in 2019?

Since the beginning of time, dancing, regardless of gender, has been the epitome of artistic expression. At the Osceola County School for the Arts, students are free to perform their tendus and relevés regardless of whatever gender identity they associate themselves with. Spencer’s unknowledgeable way of words is degrading every dance achievement earned by the dance community, especially by male dancers. These social gender norms of today’s society are one of the bigger reasons as to why toxic masculinity still plagues our environment. Pursuing one’s passion should be an objective no one has to feel ashamed about. However, apparently not to Lara Spencer.

I sat down with Immanuel Rodriguez, a Senior dance major at OCSA, who had also taken to social media to spread awareness on the subject at hand. “I believe the first thing that came to my head was kind of a confusion as to if this was really a joke or something serious,” Rodriguez stated, when asked what his first thought was upon seeing the video. “I saw how other male dancers were reacting to it and it showed me that she actually meant it. I kind of took it personal [sic], just being a male dancer and I found it super inappropriate. I felt disturbed by the fact that someone would say this on live television.”

When we give into the thought of “lady in pink” ballerinas and how only girls may take the stage, we feed into the stereotype that men who dance are not “masculine” enough to even be called that. We also strip away the dignity of male dancers of all kinds, as they question themselves as artists and individuals. “[The video] has impacted me as a dancer more because [dancing] has been a challenge and it’s not really accepted by everybody. This is a recurring issue between all male dancers,” states Rodriguez. Rodriquez also wants to spread the message to young dancers hesitant on pursuing their dreams to “continue doing what you love” and “not let anyone stop you.”

Now, we must ask ourselves why society does not let generations of the human thought and experience evolve. Why must people deprive others of dreaming past their gender orientation based on their own selfish pride? Though some may not realize the deprecating ways of Spencer’s words, we will never bring ourselves to discover a new state of self prosperity if acceptance of others can not be achieved. The next day, Spencer apologized, stating, “My deepest apologies for an insensitive comment I made during pop news yesterday. From ballet to anything anyone wants to do in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain- and love every minute of it.” Spencer had disabled all comments from the post after it was made.

Even after Spencer’s ‘very sincere’ apology, we all have one singular thought: if you truly believe that boys dancing in tights is the biggest problem in our world, please channel your ignorance into something more useful.