People often join groups social groups be part of something but also to give them a sense of connectivity. In today’s world although a lot of us think we’re connected we are more disconnected than ever. We live in a time of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, selfies etc. that it’s hard to navigate reality from fantasy.
We try so hard to gain validation from the outside that we often never figure out who we are and what we really want.
Our dance community is no different. It’s gotten to a point that people will only dance or connect with those of same level and or age which creates a lot of hurt with those doing it to those on the receiving end of it.
I see divide not just in the world of politics but also in the world of dance (and yes there are politics there too). We have ageism and sexism that as a collective I don’t really see getting any better in the near future if we don’t shift the way we think.
We have to stop the self-talk that younger is better and that male is stronger or more superior than female.
The truth of the matter is that we all have unique talents and abilities and there is room for all of us.
I have heard from many older women that they feel invisible at events that men younger and older ignore them or don’t ask them to dance or don’t acknowledge them when in a group conversation.
I know for a fact because it has happened to me that event promoters will not hire because they want couples only to see on the schedule a single male has been hired. I have had interactions with male promoters who have hired me ask if there is any male pro that I would teach with because I can’t possibly handle a class on my own?
I’ve had my own peers no longer ask to do Strictly Swing as they want to dance with the younger up and coming pros.
The list goes on.
So my point here is that I needed to change my self-talk, my outlook, my priorities so that I can still exist in a community that was my sanctuary, my safe place that all of a sudden turned into a place that didn’t bring me the joy that it used to.
So what do I do you ask?
I do several things.
First and foremost and this is the important one;
Letting someone know when I didn’t appreciate the way they’ve treated me or spoken to me.
That’s a major issue.
If you don’t tell them then behaviour’s perpetuate.
This does not mean to go on Facebook and call them out as this is a huge problem in society and can turn out to create more harm than good.
There’s a great article about call-out culture and social justice if you’re interested. I’ll leave the link at the bottom.
I surround myself with people that are like minded. Lifting people up, connecting with them as humans, not putting so much importance on those who do not want to dance with me but those who do.
Working for Event directors who empower women not those who don’t.
I practice self-care like meditating as much as I can, going to the gym or anything that soothes the soul.
So In closing be kind to one another, love yourself and each other and don’t get caught up in the minutiae of things (just to be clear it happens to me too which Is why I know first-hand not to).
I hope this helps and have a lovely rest of your time on the planet.