Q&A With Genie Baffoe
Name: Eugene Baffoe
When did you start dancing? At 13-years-old
1. What do you love about your body?
Its strength and ability to sense extreme events. Kinda like spiderman.
2. Why do you dance?
I dance because I was given this gift for a reason. I wasn’t raised in dance. I wasn’t formally trained in the traditional sense. It was somehting I saw. I liked. I picked up. And somehow was able to do it. It's not by coincidence. It had to be by design. I want to help others find their full potential through dance, which might lead them further into dance or elsewhere by having the confidence, strength, and self awareness to know they can do anything they put their mind to. Because that’s the power of dance. It can give you that and more. With freedom, expression and determination dance can transform, elevate, and inspire.
3. Have you ever experienced body negativity as a dancer?
I personally haven’t had much of it. I’ve been lucky to not have those feelings, I have sustained minimal to no injuries in dance and my insecurities don’t lie with my body. But I have seen my colleagues, students and other dancers be ravaged by it, be held back by it and/or be destroyed by it.
4. In a few words, what happened?
I had a studio director make fun of a student in a tight costume. The student eventually found out and quit dance but has returned ever since. She's one of the most talented dancers I have ever seen.
5. Why is body positivity important in dance?
Your body is your main vehicle to dance. It's your tool, your art, your voice, and your guide. You have to believe in it to unlock its full potential. In order to do that you need to have a positive outlook on it.
6. What can other teachers and studio owners do to improve body positivity in their classes?
Teach them that they key to success as an artist is turning your weakness into your strengths. We all vulnerable by default. Our insecurities show a lot more than we think. Working to understanding and accepting ourselves for who we are will only make us less anxious, less paranoid and stronger artists.