Having been in the professional dance world for many years, Kevin Sateri has had a diverse career so far that includes touring with "Experience Canada: Spirit of a Nation", dancing in various music videos and shows like "Beverly Hills 90210", "Hellcats", to name a few. Kevin has also worked on films with Canadian choreographer Paul Becker and most recently, danced as Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz's double on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Oscar special "Movie: The Movie" (5:34 mark).
These experiences as a working dancer have given him insight into what it takes to have longevity in this business and succeed as a male in the dance industry.
Men in the dance industry never have it easy. Some of us may be able to start training later in our teenage years than our female counterparts, but we also face challenges such as being bullied and picked on, or envied for following our passion in an artistic way. It takes great courage, dedication and strength to not be discouraged by others and the rewards can be plentiful. Finding support from family and friends is important when you are studying dance and surrounding yourself with that support can help make a difference in your confidence, which inherently affects you in auditions. These challenges can make it difficult for guys to have the desire and commitment to study without distraction, when they are called names or harassed for entering the dance world.
I was first introduced to dance in junior high school, and wanted to learn the moves I saw in all the music videos. Seeing that there were guys dancing in the videos, I thought it was cool to follow in their footsteps. What I didn't realize is that I would be the only guy in class, and that the taunts from the other guys in the hallway would make it difficult for me to celebrate my new found love.
I got through it, and was hooked on the feeling I had when I was dancing. I decided to enroll in classes at the best professional studio in town, where I was clearly out of my element. Kim Breiland at Stages Dance school took me under her wing on a full scholarship, and the girls I met along the way welcomed me and helped me find my way.
Today, it has become a little more socially acceptable for guys to dance. We are starting to gain recognition for being athletes, and due to the popular mainstream television shows showcasing dance, it is being watched and appreciated more than ever. The more saturated the entertainment industry is with the presence of male dancers, the more people respect them and recognize how hard it is to be an accomplished dancer.
Expectations are high for the abilities of today's male dancer. Due to the unbelievable talent that has evolved over the years with great dance schools and training, the male dancer is expected to have great versatility in style, have additional special skills they can draw from, do lifts and partner work, etc. The competition is getting stiffer with the amount of guys attending auditions and seeking work. There is also currently many more employable opportunities for women than men. The more skills you have, the more you will be a hot commodity in the dance community.
The trails and tribulations of a male dancer may seem like a huge burden, but the rewards and highlights heavily outweigh those challenges. Be strong and confident, keep good friends around, and be yourself by following your true passion in life!
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