I'm a Dancer. No, not "that" kind of dancer.

So, there’s this post, on Huffington Post. Written by an NEA fellow, of all people. About dance being the poorest art. Now, I think this is quite possibly true. What I take exception to is how she starts her examination.

“I've come to a conclusion about dance and money: if dancers did not sometimes sleep with rich people, American dance as we know it would cease to exist. Absurd and degrading as this conclusion is -- can you imagine the same being said of any other art form?” Sorry? Come again? Well, this explains why I have no money! I’m not sleeping with the right people!

Can I imagine the same being said of any other art form? Well, yes. I suppose I could. I could actually imagine it being said of any non-profit. We all depend on the gifts of others. Artists and non-profit professionals, for the most part, are focused on service- to others, the greater good, the muse, whatever.

Non-profits, by definition, don’t make money. The money they bring in goes back out in their services. Many don’t charge for their services, or it’s a nominal fee. Shall we suggest that because they get grants from foundations (many started by rich families or corporations) and gifts from middle- and upper-class individual donors, that the execs are sleeping their way to the money? I think not. Why is this a reasonable statement in the arts?!?!?! Well, it’s not. Most of us are too busy working and throwing our hearts and souls into our art to seduce rich sponsors.

“If we thought of dancers as tax-paying adults, if we took them seriously, then we'd have to take seriously the message common across practically all dance: that the life of the body matters.” I agree with her here. Don’t like the road she took to get here, but here we are. Society does not take dancers seriously. We’re not as intellectual as writers. Not as impressive as musicians. Not as imaginative as visual artists. Or something.

Or our deep-seated Puritanism subconsiously seeps in and tells us- “The body is dirty. The flesh is evil. Stay away. There’s something wrong with them.” And so, dancers are a subclass. Not good people. One day they will grow up and get a real job.

How do we convince society “that the life of the body matters”? Maybe we start by not accusing each other of using our bodies as currency.