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Home / Entertainment / What Lara Spencer's Apology to Male Ballet Dancers Gets Right-and-Still Gets So Wrong

What Lara Spencer's Apology to Male Ballet Dancers Gets Right-and-Still Gets So Wrong



Lara Spencer's joking about men who dance ballet on Good Morning America but apparently we're still pirouetting around cliches, even now in 2019. So here I am.

So, too, male ballet dancers were Robbie Fairchild, Travis Wall, and Fabrice Calmels. Besides Wall, who is outspoken about his sexuality and involved LGBTQ + activism, I do not know the sexual orientation of the dancers.

I know that because that's what they told Spencer Monday morning on GMA .

The Daily Beast's Obsessed

The dancers were part of a combination apology package and teachable moment that was orchestrated following Friday's controversy , Prince George wants to be enrolled in when he begins school, Spencer outwardly laughed as she explained that he wants to take ballet, and ad libbed jokes at the expense of the six-year-old and his parents until her co-hosts and the GMA studio audience joined her in laughter.

After a breezy, anodyne Instagram apology over the weekend, she returned to GMA Monday morning earnestly contrite as she introduced her to the trio of dancers. Monday morning, Wall and Fairchild were in Times Square teaching dance to both young girls and boys-but still got some very key things wrong. The same thing that these "teachable moments" tend to always get wrong.

"I screwed up." I did, "Spencer said Monday morning. "I made about something insensitive, it was stupid, and I am deeply sorry. I have spoken to several members of the dance community in the last few days. I have listened.

Fairchild, former principal dancer of New York City Ballet who wants to starring alongside Taylor Swift and Judi Dench Cats movie, about being in middle school when his schoolmates discovered that he was taking a class at the street, pointing at the window of the studio, and pointed and laughed. "I can not tell you how much that hurt," he said.

Calmels, a French ballet dancer who is the lead dancer at Chicago's Joffrey Ballet, has just dropped out because of the stigma surrounding the form. "He continued,"

And Wall, who became famous as a contestant on the TV series So You Think You Can Dance and has won two Emmy awards for his choreography on the show, spoke about the power of visibility.

Spencer ends it all by thanking you for participating in the conversation: "For me, the lesson is words hurt. It was not my intention. It was insensitive, and I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to apologize to you. "

That's what you could have hoped for in the aftermath of an event that cruelly reminded us that boorish gay-shaming and The crushing judgment of gender norms are still intrinsically woven into the fabric of our culture. It is eye-opening to see that this is the only way to make sense of it.

Spencer delivered a humbled, educated, clear apology, with the understanding that the incident needed to spark a conversation with those who felt wronged. But the truth is, the conversation is committed.

While it is not possible to break the stigma against boys who dance, the segment failed to explore what it necessitated conversation in the first place.

Lara Spencer is truly homophobic in the sense of how we typically look at her clichés about gender and sexuality are.

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96909018] What if a major. "" Boys just drop out because of the stigma around the form morning show like GMA in the wake of a viral controversy like this one, actually, that addressed? What is it, in the straight-forward, studly male ballet dancer success stories, LGBT schoolkids and experts on the tangible effects of this latent societal bullying?

"Cancel culture" -the impulse to fire anyone who makes a public misstep or says something offensive, mistakenly or otherwise-has grown too rabid, voracious, and unforgiving to be effective. What is gained when, instead of conversation or contrition, all discourse and education stops? It's just not wasted just for the person in question to grow, but for the entire culture to consider, debate, and evolve.

Prince George and male dancers, Broadway stars, celebrities, and dance icons posted in the wake of Spencer's mocking on a social media to admonish, and to defend the dedication, strength, and athleticism it takes to become a dancer-all attributes that dance in the face of this elemental misconception that dance is exclusively flouncy, fey, and weak.

It is admirable that it has been published in public-facing, televised life-and consider the value of translating her own education to her show's audience.

With so many of these controversies, the most that is outgoing hope for or desire is a conversation about it, one that almost never happens. Homophobic jokes wanted him to be fired, no questions asked, no chance for remorse. It's myopic-and, to my eye, a recent and unhealthy development in our culture-to-see opportunity in outrage.

Critics wanted to know what it was. They wanted to understand how he feels his platform could be used for the better. They wanted to understand a mindset that could have been articulated in the past to a more evolved perspective today. They wanted a conversation.

But Hart's defensive dismissal of the criticism silenced that potential discourse. His petulant martyrdom what maybe more telling than what he said in the first place. Spencer's segment Monday may reflect her genuine education, or it may just be damage control. But it did not give space to the conversation; it's just time for that conversation to be taken deeper.

It's ridiculous that the ballet is for sissies still exists. Men who train in ballet arguably rank among the most physically fit, most disciplined athletes in the world. What they are doing to their body is as they are.

Gene Kelly, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bright, Even Channing Tatum or Hugh Jackman: How Many Strapping Leading Men Will We See Major Stars Because Of Their Talent For Dance While Still Perpetuating The Idea That Real Men Do Not Dance? THAT'S OK, TOO!)

But, ridiculous or not, that notion does not exist. What's more surprising?

When it's time to come to terms with gender representation, LGBTQ + acceptance, and the celebration of identity, we forget how surface-level that can be. We forget how much deeper our feelings, conversations, and self-reflection have to change, real change, to happen.

Just look like it's all for one single person on screen, from Spencer to her co-hosts to the audience behind her, to laugh at a little boy taking ballet class, like it's a reflex to do so. Maybe because it is still.

How many of us are "woke" but when it comes down to it, are we uncomfortable about anything that does not conform to the gender roles? How many of us think we are faced with the opportunity to prove it? Pride parades who might still be blanching at the idea of ​​their own non-conforming hair dressers, love going to Broadway shows, and love marching at Pride parade the hypothetical further, being gay?

It was not likely that this would be done in a five-minute Good Morning America segment. I'm glad the spotlight on the shame and stigma faced by male dancers, at the very least, what. But what if, this time, we can wrestle from the knee-jerk outrage just a little bit more?


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