Proud to be an Ally, Proud to be RAD

By RAD CEO Tim Arthur

What does dance mean to me?

Tim Arthur. Photo: Craig Prentis.

Dance is a celebration of what it means to be alive. Dance is an amazing way to connect with others and with ourselves. Dance is a pure form of embodied creativity. Movement is medicine and the very act of dancing makes us happier and healthier, both mentally and physically. Dance is for everyone and our mission at the RAD is to inspire the world to dance. No matter what age you are, no matter what race, ability, gender, religion or sexual orientation you identify as, everyone should be able to experience the sheer joy of dancing in an environment that makes them feel safe, welcome and judgement-free.

June is Pride month and Pride is about acceptance, equality and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. I am very proud to have been an LGBTQIA+ ally for as long as I can remember. In the simplest terms, an ‘ally’ is, in this case, a straight cisgender person, (that’s me) who believes in trying to make the world a better place for people who identify as LGBTQIA+. But what does an ally actually do? Well, I can only speak for myself (and that’s actually a key point, allies let the LGBTQIA+ community speak for themselves) but here are some of the things I try and do.

  • Be visible and support the community – I’m doing that here, right now.
  • Take care of people who need support – that’s a very human thing to do for anyone.
  • Learn about the issues that are important to the community – I’m a big fan of podcasts and books but also of simply listening to friends’ and colleagues’ lived experiences.
  • I encourage friends and family to become allies or at least to be more aware of the issues and open to hearing other people’s perspectives.

Much of the dance world is inclusive, open and wonderfully diverse. Each dancer brings their own stories to their performances, that’s why two dancers can dance exactly the same steps but will move you in entirely different ways. Although we may train for years, learning our craft and honing our art, ultimately, it is our inner selves which create the performers and teachers we become. Each of us is unique. Each of us has value and worth. Each of us deserves to be seen for who we are in all our gloriousness.

I’m proud to support Pride. I’m proud to be an ally. I’m proud to be RAD.

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