The privileged male dancer

Ailey2The privileged male dancer is everywhere in the dance world.

The privileged male dancer is made possible thanks to the unprivileged female dancer, and the non-existent gender non-binary dancer.

The privileged male dancer can start dancing in his 20s and go on to have a long-lasting successful dance career, unparalleled by his female colleagues. He can let out a prideful smirk at people dropping their jaws, whenever they find out that he didn’t start dancing at the age of five.

The privileged male dancer can achieve so much in such a short period of time. He can begin dancing in a professional company after a year or so of intense training; and only a year later, he can already start collecting local awards for his dance achievements. He can just blissfully ignore how, because of his penis or whatever else that marks his maleness, he can get most principle roles that requires the kind of virtuosity beyond his technical ability – a feat unimaginable to a visibly marked female body. For him, it is all hard work and natural talent, apparently.

The privileged male dancer does not have to dye his hair pink or wear neon sweatpants to stand out during audition, even though he might decide to dye his hair pink anyway. The moment he appears in the audition room, the choreographer can let out a deep exhalation in relief: thank god I don’t have to just choose from a sea of bunheads!

The privileged male dancer almost stops dancing at one point, because everyone bullies him for being gay. He is not gay, he says to himself. He might not be, indeed. But he dances, so he looks gay anyway. Unless… unless he buffs it up and does popping, locking, breakdancing  instead – A ha, now he looks like a real man.

The privileged male dancer wants his masculinity to stay intact. He has to grapple with the presentation of his detested femininity on stage, so much that he muscles it up to show everyone how much effort it demands to move the body like he does. Sometimes all that the privileged male dancer wants is to be pretty on stage.

On the other end, the privilege male dancer is not conditioned to be pretty on stage, unlike his female counterpart. The privileged male dancer can explore his physical extremities, and can look like he is going through such extremities. He can lift, can jump, turn, leap without worrying about preserving the image of his delicacy.

The privileged male dancer goes on to become the privileged male choreographer. The privileged male choreographer can go on and create a company with twenty female (white) dancers… and two, maybe three other privileged male dancers, who will then go on to become the next privileged male choreographers.

The privileged male dancer understands the system too well, and uses it to his full advantage.

The privileged male dancer wants to end this misogynistic system, but he does not know how. (or he does not want to know how??)

The privileged dancer is hesitant to give up his privileges.

The privileged male dancer, I am one.

2 thoughts on “The privileged male dancer

  1. I have always wondered what it would have been like to be a male dancer, and the different experience I would have had.
    A brown female dancer


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