The other day, Scene intern Cayla Mackey penned a post about The Brick Factory, the new DIY art space in Cummins Station, and some of the workshops that will be offered there. We should note that Cayla wrote the post, but did not write the photo captions on that post, including this one: "Aerial dancing is like gymnastics, but with a little Showgirls thrown in."
We mention this because we got an email from Audra Almond-Harvey, an instructor who will be leading a class at the Brick Factory, taking exception with that characterization of aerial dancing. She notes, "As a professional dancer, I work on a regular basis against the idea that dancing is either something I should have grown out of already, or is only appreciated by the general public if done naked." We certainly didn't mean to perpetuate any such a notion, and we apologize for any harm we may have done in our attempts at humor. The full letter appears below:
Regarding your recent article about the Brick Factory: http://www.nashvillescene.com/countrylife/archives/2012/02/03/brick-factory-nashville-opens-hosts-after-crawl
As one of the aerialists who is offering the classes with the Brick Factory, I do understand that most people know very little about the art form. As a professional dancer, I work on a regular basis against the idea that dancing is either something I should have grown out of already, or is only appreciated by the general public if done naked.
I also run a nonprofit which is designed to bring art to all ages in our city. I've had some interesting emails today from people who know of our connection to the Brick Factory and were thus wondering, after reading your article, if we would be premiering our next performance at a local strip club or if it was, in fact, safe to send their teenagers to our class. I also have some male students who are less than pleased at the "Showgirls" correlation who asked that I pass along that sentiment.
The company presenting the classes can be found here: http://www.falldance.org/.
I do also realize that your article was written with a tongue-in-cheek tone. It seems as if the point of your blog is to demystify the arts for the greater community of Nashville, and for that I applaud you, as we will take all the advocates we can get. However, tongue-in-cheek arts advocacy can be done without furthering the sexist stereotypes that professional dancers in our city contend with on a regular basis.