Need a Reason to Dance? Here are 39...

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?

Latest Posts

Getty Images

7 Eco-Friendly Choices Dancers Can Make to Green Up Their Lifestyles

Ballet dancers are known for their empathy and willingness to improve, so it is no surprise that many are educating themselves about the environment and incorporating sustainable habits into their lives. "I recently read that there are more microplastics in our oceans than there are stars in our galaxy. That really hit me," says American Ballet Theatre corps member Scout Forsythe, who has been making an effort to be more environmentally conscious.

Although no one can fix the climate crisis on their own, we can make small, everyday changes to help decrease waste, consumption and emissions. Here are some suggestions for dancers looking to do their part in helping our planet.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks