When I was in college as a dance major, the most significant message I received from my professors was this:
Dancers with a body like mine don't deserve to be taught. They can never dance professionally. We're "ugly." We're "less than."
I thought that was total nonsense.
It isn't fair that skilled, hardworking dancers out there are shut out of their dream career because of things they can't control. It's not right that some dancers are bullied into starving themselves or working themselves to injury to be considered good enough.
Dancers are dancers, no matter what they look like, no matter where or when or how long they trained, and no matter how skilled they are.
I created B+ Dance to give dancers who feel overlooked a place where they can do what they love without fear.
My goal is to someday turn B+ into a physical school with a professional company.
My name is Athena Brooks. I trained in ballet, tap, and jazz/hip-hop at Mountain Valley Dance Studios in Alamosa, CO (the best dance studio ever!).
I graduated with a BA in dance from Brigham Young University in 2018. I then spent three semesters teaching children's ballet at Mountain Valley Dance.
I now live in Salt Lake City, UT, and take adult classes with Ballet West Academy and Repertory Dance Theatre.
About the name B+
B+ is a preparatory position. It's the start of something new and exciting.
B+ can also be read as "Be positive."
The B can stand for "body," making B+ mean "body positivity," an issue dance has made me passionate about.
B+ is the grade many dancers might give themselves. In a field that expects perfection, we feel that as much as we try, we can't quite be good enough. These classes are for those "B+" dancers.