Dance school drops ballet auditions saying it’s an ‘elitist white art form’

17 July 2022, 12:14

The school banned ballet from its entrance audition process.

Photo: Aliyah

A leading dance school has dropped ballet from its entrance auditions, with staff saying it is an ‘elitist’ art form.

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance has reviewed the inclusion of ballet in its school entry process, saying it brings with it a “controversial nature” and the dance form brings with it “white European ideas “, reports the Telegraph.

The school argues that learning ballet is expensive, idealizes certain body shapes and physical attributes, and divides roles by gender.

News from the Leeds-based school said: ‘We are reviewing the content and have removed ballet from our audition day due to its potentially controversial nature.

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Francesca McCarthy, head of undergraduate studies at the conservatory, told The Telegraph: “It’s essentially an elite form. Young people have to pay to take ballet lessons as a rule and for a large number of potential students they have not had access to ballet.

“It’s a very specific shape that’s built around particular white European ideas and body shapes that are often alienating to young people who don’t fit that aesthetic ideal.”

The NCSD hopes removing ballet from its audition process will make the school more inclusive and increase diversity.

Christopher S. Washington