Do women really have a harder time finding a job in the dance world?
I feel like Carrie Bradshaw as I’m about to embark upon an open ended question that I will attempt to answer or muse upon in a few paragraphs: So…
I’ve recently completed my contract with Danish Dance Theatre and have moved back to the UK. Like so many, I have found myself living between my parents' home and wherever is available to rest my head in London as a means to keep dancing; attempting to take part in as many auditions, intensives and classes as is humanly possible. However, I'm yet to secure the next job.
Ok, that’s not exactly true; I am yet to secure my dream job. For the roles I have been offered, I have been politely requested to, either appear in my underwear or have my breasts out and/or, to have same sex love affairs. All of which are, if artistically curated, wonderful... until you feel like you’re beginning to live out a middle aged mans fetishes.
Sadly, to keep going to classes and getting that baby face seen these dance related, but not specific, jobs are where the money is. However, as I'm doing my daily trawl through Dancers Pro to see if I can get some cash that week, in among the abundance of female dancers ‘modelling’ jobs there appears to be all of about zero people asking for men to get there balls out for in-artistically produced films. More like, a mighty fine array of companies and respected agencies, choreographers and artists all looking for that 'special man'.
Before I continue, I do have to say that forty five percent of the time I love the aforementioned Dancers Pro and my little heart bursts with excitement at some of the jobs. I’m just picking at the negatives, but, y’know, sometimes it’s necessary.
I do however find that the best way of getting seen and successfully getting work is to put yourself out there and be hungry for it. Don’t get your kit off unless you have a burning desire to do so. Rather, talk to everyone at company class, the teachers and the participants. Befriend them and charm them. Tell them that you are available for weddings, bar mitzvahs and everything in between! Let’s be like the men. If there is no option but to keep those boobs tucked in our sports bras then we have to go elsewhere for the work; out into the outside world and network to your hearts content/until you get a job.
My next question (for apparently I'm making woman's hour on my blog, although why is that a term anyway?)... : in a world of art and a time bringing more awareness to gender fluidity and equality, why are we still knees deep in a sexist world?
So why oh why do we still have to be so specific with our job seeking? MALE dancers FEMALE dancers only, this is contemporary no? Can I not learn to lift? And man learn to fly, and we both do everything in between? (Ok, not all of the time but a little more searching for equality would be nice?)