Need a Reason to Dance? Here are 39…

December 21, 2014

Kansas City Ballet’s Tempe Ostergren, Photo by Kenny Johnson


If anyone’s ever asked you why you dance, you may have had a hard time articulating your answer. “Because I have to” is usually the most natural response. And part of what makes dance so powerful is the deep, ineffable devotion of its artists. But if we go a little deeper, we see that we each have our own reasons as to why ballet is such an integral part of our lives. For me, it has always been about transformation: creating an imaginary world where I can inhabit a new character, or—in absence of narrative—become a physical manifestation of emotion. Other dancers I know feel profound freedom in dance’s physical release, or find that it’s the best way to express their inner-most feelings. In an article published last week, The Huffington Post asked 39 dancers nationwide to briefly answer the question “I dance because…” on a piece of paper, then photograph themselves holding their response. Dancers from American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Nashville Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and more took a moment to explain why they devote their lives to the art form. And while their answers range in complexity, it’s apparent that passion drives each and every one of them to the stage.


Now it’s your turn—why do you dance?