Good Morning America Should Amplify the Benefits of Dance for Young Men
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Good Morning America host, Lara Spencer, recently covered the academic interests of the United Kingdom’s future prince, George, which included the study of poetry and ballet. Along with her co-hosts, she mocked and laughed at the young man’s interest in the dance form, perpetuating a maligned stigma against men in dance. In actuality, the benefits of the study of dance on young people have been clear for decades.
Often times this gender-focused stigma against men in dance, perpetuates a culture of bullying and intimidation against young men who engage in the art form. This especially affects intersectional young men, specifically young men of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Yet, the research shows that when young people engage in dance as part of their formal or informal education, they benefit greatly in school, in work, and in life. Young people who study dance are more likely to achieve academically including seeing benefits in raised test scores and lowered drop out rates. Additionally, they develop enhanced capabilities of grit, perseverance, collaboration, and creativity.
Recognizing the benefit of excellent journalism and the pervasiveness of media in society today, we do not simply call for an apology on behalf of Lara Spencer, Good Morning America, and ABC, but rather we wish to see a future segment focus be on the benefits of dance education on young people, especially men and boys.
We imagine that such a segment will highlight the benefits of dance to young men who participate, especially those who face challenges of bullying and the stigmatization of their passion. Often times, we see that those young men turn out to be the leaders of tomorrow in the arts, in business, in government, and among their peers in their communities. We hope to see these stories shared rather than an antiquated joke predicated on archaic and biased attitudes.
UPDATE: Dance Magazine has run a great piece about this, including the brief apology from Lara Spencer.
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