To nick a phrase found on Orac’s blog, ‘the stupid, it burns’.
I happen to be a forum and blog junkie and recently on one of the many I visit, an argument appeared as to what a ‘dancer’ is.

Dancers are one of the few groups of people who are so insanely ego-centric that they would get uppity over the correct usage of the designation of dancer. They have elevated it into a hallowed title, conveying an aura of ‘dancerness’, of ability, passion blah blah blah.
So some argue the strictest dictionary application – that dancer is one who dances in public for pay.
Which is patently stupid when considering the rich heritage of other cultures where dance is simply a way of life. The advent of ‘dance’ and indeed ‘art’ as a profession is very recent, these activities have been a part of all human cultures for thousands of years, pretty much as soon as culture developed – from caveman days of rockpainting and jewelry making.
But no, bobbleheads still insist that a professional arts corps is necessary because without it There would be no jane austen, no bach, andy warhol, no great musicians, building would only be functional, walls would all be one colour’ I mean, jeebus, if we didn’t have professional artists, holy jeepers batman, colour would never have been invented!!!!
also highly amusing because one of Warhols ideas was that art is potentially anything one considers to be art. And that art and not art is a blurred distinction

Other knuckleheads content that to be worthy of the term dancer one must have ‘passion’ for it, as if that is a useful definition. You might as well make ‘dancerness’ a criteria.

Interestingly it was only students and non-professional dancers who were all up in arms. My pet theory is that dancers as a whole are so mindboggling insecure that they need a shibboleth to feel secure in themselves and their art. They need a way to differentiate themselves from the mass of the ‘other’.
Or perhaps, as some of them will not assign the title of ‘dancer’ to themselves, feeling themselves unworthy of the title, it is because of the deification of dancers and artists generally – something that John Carey talks about in ‘What good are the Arts?’.
“talk of the immortality of art, in the absence of a belief in God, is childish and self- deceiving”

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