How one playful video ended up offending the dance community

By Julia Malacoff
Updated: September 22, 2016

Vogue España recently released a playful, ballet-inspired editorial video featuring model Kendall Jenner (shown below). One problem: Dancers did not approve.

Everyone's favorite Dance Mom, Abby Lee Miller, was one of the first to weigh in on the controversy, saying in an Instagram comment captured by The Shade Room: "I don't make it a habit of commenting on all the dancers that post pics with incorrect technique. I would never get anything else done! But I cannot be a fan of this shoot. There are so many amazing dancers in the world...Kendall Jenner is not one of them! Shame on Momager Kris Jenner!!! She never made these kids take dance class. She better get North West to the @aldcstudiola before it's too late!"

Dance Spirit Magazine also weighed in, and went so far as to describe the performance as "facepalm-y." Why? "Because they decided to dress Jenner up in tutus and legwarmers and have her "do ballet," though she's clearly not ballet trained. In the voiceover, she talks about 'loving being a kid' and missing childhood; the video is, apparently, a sort of little-girl fantasy on ballerina-ness. Which, OK. But to our eyes, the whole thing reads as pretty disrespectful to the artists who devote their lives to this demanding craft."

Ballet has had a wide influence in fashion and fitness over the last several years. Barre classes and other ballet-like workouts have been getting tons of attention (even Michael Phelps tried one). To be fair, though, those workouts are hardly the same as professional ballet, which, as people pointed out, is a craft that takes years and years of hard work and dedication. The tweet-storm from the dance community made their feelings abundantly clear.

Check out the full video for yourself below:


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January 13, 2019