Rachel, Leah and “So You Think You Can Dance”

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Pop Quiz:

What percentage of dance students throughout the world are girls?

I'm going to guess 9 out of 10, or 90%.

How many of the teachers from L.A.'s inner-city schools that attended the So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) workshop were women?

I'm estimating 7 out of 10, or 70%.

How many of the SYTYCD choreographers this season were women?

Roughly 4 out of 19, about 20%.

Of the eight choreographers invited to choose their favorite dance, how many were women?

1 in 8, or 12.5%.

Which of the dances did the judges regard as the most profoundly moving?

A dance choreographed by one of the women, Mia Michaels.

Some of you may say, Wake up Whitney, it's a man's world. Women would like to choreograph, to have a say within their professional community, but they just can't break in.

But, but, but… we're not talking about technology, we're talking about dance, a field in which women are trained to dance, to choreograph, to critique.

So I only buy part of this argument.

If we have a gift for and love to do something, and we don't pursue that something, don't we bear some responsibility for our not breaking in, breaking through, for allowing our Leah to remain in the building?

Choosing to be Rachel is not easy, at least not for me. I seem to ask Leah to leave nearly every day.

But when you and I make the choice to move away from Leah toward Rachel, just think of what we can do, what we can create, of the stories we will tell.

Stories like those told by Mia Michaels.

What do you have a gift for, that you love to do, that you aren't pursuing?

Why?

Do you really not want to, or is society telling you not to?

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