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With our upcoming collaborative concert with the Appleton BoyChoir, we've been thinking a lot about the relationship between gender and performance.

An evidence-based study from NDEO revealed that only about 10 percent of the 3.5 million children in the US studying dance identify as male--and many of those dancers face stereotypes, bullying, and an overall lack of support from some of the people they most love and respect.

With these stats and studies in mind, it's worth taking a moment to celebrate one of our Artistic Director Jeanette Makaroff's former students for his staggering success and recent promotion to Principal Dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Kyle Davis regularly returns to perform in Jeanette's visionary productions of The Nutcracker, and his presence on the stage empowers dancers in the Makaroff Youth Ballet to learn from and dance with a professional who shows them where their ambitions might take them.

For more on Jeanette, check out this profile from the Post Crescent. And while we're thinking about gender stereotypes in the ballet world, it's definitely worth thinking about this: "In the 2018-19 ballet season, men choreographed 81% of all works performed by the top 50 ballet companies. Of the 467 works announced for the 2019-20 season, 79% will be choreographed by men." Having a female choreographer, along with women alumni and guest choreographers who work with our company, serves as a source of inspiration and aspiration.

Bravo, Kyle, for your grace and gifts--and for everyone in our dance community who exhibits strength, resiliency, discipline, and art on stage and off!

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