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By Smaktakula

Ballet has long been known as both an aesthetic and athletic endeavor, entwining beauty and ability into a single art form.  In its physicality it is not unlike more traditional sports, and in fact requires a great deal more athletic ability than some so-called “sports.”   

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Despite this, the American public has never really gone for ballet.  Like mime or disc golf, ballet lives on through the efforts of a desperately fanatical cadre of aficionados and the largesse of wealthy benefactors.  Ballet’s primary demographic is the legion of nine year-old girls who comprise its base.             

And yet, people seem to understand instinctively that ballet is something to be admired.  It is often employed metaphorically when discussing natural phenomenon, such as the stars or the northern lights, in overblown phrases like “the majesty of the cosmic ballet.”  Even more ironically, the same people who would under no circumstances attend the ballet nevertheless attempt to lend a high-minded importance to football by invoking a comparison to ballet: athleticism as aestheticism.  It has even been used in an attempt to justify silly non-sports like professional wrestling.             

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Although only about 50% of male ballet dancers are gay,* the terms for male ballet dancers–danseur and ballerino–are 100% gay.   However, this only makes ballet a “gay” endeavor by the same logic that says football is a “straight” sport because it’s played largely (but by no means exclusively) by straight men.  Still, it doesn’t help sell ballet to the beer & pork rind crowd.             

Neither is ballet doing itself any favors by continuing to wrap danseurs in flesh-hugging leotards, thereby devolving them into heinous sausage-smugglers.  Juxtapose this fact with the title of the only ballet most Americans can name, The Nutcracker, and it’s easy to see why mainstream America has so far shied away from ballet.             

The Promethean Times Editorial Staff has come up with a slogan which the ballet industry is free to use as it chooses.  We hope it will finally shame Americans into embracing this venerable art form:            




* This statistic courtesy of the always unimpeachable repository of historical record, Wikipedia.   

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