Be your Own IT Girl

Walk past any news kiosk and it’s clear what’s hot, the face of the it girl splashed on the majority of the covers makes that all too clear. In the eighties we had glamazon Cindy Crawford, the Nineties waif Kate Moss, now it’s Paris, Lindsay and Halle. Like Pavlov’s dogs we set out in a mad frenzy to become her, doing the best with what we’ve genetically been given and what we can financially acquire; hot haircuts, wedge heels and the right length skirt and the bag of the season. If it’s within our budget we could add or remove unwanted fat and place it where they say it should be, lips, breasts, or booty. However when the look of o’the day is beyond facsimile we have no recourse but to await the next season, like playing roulette we hope the little ball lands on something closer to what we naturally are or can successfully feign.
For years I have shed my clothes in dressing rooms and looking around me I can’t help thinking that when it comes to dance and aesthetics, I have the very same feeling as looking at Vogue, nauseously inadequate. I discerned that directors are like fashion editors; choreographers designers and we the dancers, are models. Some are touted for their facility, some for their artistry and quality while others are simply the muses. The dance world moves at a slower pace than fashion but whether we like to admit it or not it’s still based on aesthetics. Looks do count, not for everything but they certainly help. I think of Gelsey looking at Suzanne wondering, “What does she have that I don’t?” it wasn’t talent. Speaking of Balanchine, he single-handly created the paper-thin hair flowing look that had girls fearful of cutting their hair and made Tab one of the four major food groups.
Alas the wheel spins again. Today the millennium ballerina has breasts, junk in her trunk, spiky hair, an Afro and even tattoos. Of course there will always be the it girls for whom roles are created and ballets designed around, likewise there will always be her counterpart, the often unappreciated ox who remembers the counts, know all that parts, can be thrown in at a seconds notice, neurotically working to be it, hoping against hope that the golden girl will twist her ankle and she’ll get her shot and like an old MGM movie she’ll go from chorus girl to star over night. But this is not the movie The Company and Neve Campbell fell out in the end anyway. I suppose its just better to remember why we dance in the first place, the love of it, and somehow make ourselves it girl in our minds, whether we are way upstage on quarter or in the dressing room waiting for her twenty minute solo to end. Personally I exact my revenge at the gala with my irresistible charm and infallible fashion sense, spotlights don’t always shine on stage, I carry mine with me!

That’s my two cents you can keep the change.

4 thoughts on “Be your Own IT Girl”

  1. I like your comparison of dance to fashion and I think it is very true. No matter how hard we try to deny it, dance is about aesthetics; how the movement and the dancers look. It think it is important to first believe in yourself and not compare yourself to others in order to make it to the top. Comparing yourself and your ability to the dancer who has the lead role will not put you in her position any faster. You have to have faith in yourself before anyone else will.

  2. I agree, dance will always, to some extent, be about aesthetics. We all know you can be cut from an audition for being too short or being 10 pounds heavier than the director would like. These are the facts, but like you said, we have to remember that we dance because we love it. It doesn’t always have to be about having the longest legs or the smallest tummy. We are lucky that we have found a career in something that we truly love, and sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself of this.

  3. I agree with Emily, aesthetics are involved in almost any performance job. It is important not to change who you are to the extremes in order to fit an aesthetic. Often times we want something so bad we change ourself for the worse to obtain it. It is important to always stay true to who you are because thats what will really land you happiness.

  4. I agree with Emily to some extent. But there will always be that one person that is cut from auditions repeatedly because they are too short, but they won’t care because they are dancing for themselves. Some of us care way too much what other people think, whether it be about dance or fashion, or whatever! I just wish more people in the world would stop caring what other people think and break social norms and start doing things for themselves.

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