I work/have worked with many many wonderful, talented, amazing performers during my time as a Burlesque Artiste and I often run into the same issue I have with most of wonderful, talented, amazing friends- they don’t value themselves.
I hear constantly
“Ohhh.. but I’m not a dancer”
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!? Because you didn’t take 14 years of ballet when you were a kid? I’m not saying that that doesn’t help but what about the part where you are able to pick up choreography and make up a dance all by yourself without that training? Thats pretty freakin good if you ask me!? So Yes! You are a dancer. No you are not a ballet dancer. You are a BURLESQUE dancer!!! You’re getting paid to dance aren’t you?
My issues with this are that YOU are what is holding YOU back. Half of the battle of being an artist of any kind is having the audacity to say that you are and to believe it. I see lots of my talented performer friends constantly sell themselves short because they don’t think they are good enough. Cut it the fuck out!! Seriously!! You have to be your own best friend and PR person. You tell me you suck and I’m going to start believing you. Can you think of any established performers that are really great at marketing themselves that you might be just as good as (if not better..)?
My other problem is that if we want other people to take us seriously, we need to start taking ourselves seriously. Just because we aren’t ballet dancers doesn’t mean what we are doing isn’t awesome or dance. Shows across the world draw audiences by the hundreds and even thousands. Why do you think that is that they are coming?? Obviously there are a variety of reasons but they also include to see you dance and to see you entertain them whilst dancing. You’re good motherfucker! Calm down already! And in MMYYYYYY opinion- sometimes it is better if you have less dance training because you are more able to think outside the box. Lots of times people with extensive training from other backgrounds will try pass off their specialty as Burlesque performance. Lots of my early work is super indicative of this. I have a dance background so I would just make up something that could’ve been a lyrical jazz solo that was missing the tease. I’ve seriously gotten so carried away that I forget to take anything off and the dance is done. Oops. And honestly? You can only get away with it so many times before you get labelled a one trick pony. One of the other key ingredients in INNOVATION. Its about being creative and doing something like no one else. I think sometimes because other art forms don’t necessarily encourage that, the people who are mega trained can sometimes (and only sometimes) come off kinda boring and unoriginal. I’ve seen it and even though they are mega talented in one aspect- it lacks.
I forget where I copied and pasted this from awhile ago but its important to consider.
Easily accessible art or art considered as Folk art is considered as low art forms because of its status and availability to lower social classes. High art forms are harder to partake in and, therefore, are able to hold their higher status and be considered as a privilege of being part of the upper classes in society.
Ballet=high art because only parents with a higher income can afford to put their kids in those kinds of intensive schools and lessons. Burlesque=low art because everyone can do it! Are you really going to perpetuate this sort of belief system with your shitty attitude? Its important for everyone for you to know how important you are. And Giiiirrll.. you are AMAZING! Stop comparing yourself to other people. This is your journey and only your accomplishments and successes should matter- ya know!? Stop feeling bad. It doesn’t help you. It doesn’t help anyone.
Some cool role models that you should research include:
Isadora Duncan- She changed what it meant to be a dancer. Girl invented modern dance! Boo-ya! People wanted to write her off as just another girl in tights selling sexuality but she took herself seriously and eventually so did everybody else!
Marie Chouinard- She is EPIC! A modern modern dancer who is so innovative! I really dig her. Youtube some of her stuff! Wowzers! And she didn’t start taking dance classes until she was 23!
Can you think of any others?? Please post below in the comments section