|Dancers breaking the prohibition of dance |
at the US Capital's Monuments
Psychological obstacles, legal consequences and in nearly every country, religious beliefs.
The American Constitution's First Amendment provides for Freedom of Speech but not dance. When it comes to human development, the order of freedoms should follow our human development:
Freedom of Dance comes first as babies.
Freedom of Speech comes next and then much later . . .
Freedom of Religion (or personal philosophy).
Although dance is specifically prohibited by some repressive states, even the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights fails to mention the right to dance. How can the most central part of our humanity--dance--be relegated to silence? Throughout history prohibitions have targeted this important human-specific expression. And so how is it that dance doesn't need to be even mentioned as a human right?
I suppose that some readers will think that perhaps I am joking or perhaps that I am overstating the importance of dance.
I am not.
Just because an obvious phenomenon like gravity was long not even considered worthy of scientific exploration, does that make the phenomenon unimportant? Dance is the elephant in the room when it comes to human rights. Dance, for that matter, is even the step-child in most liberal arts colleges. Music, painting, sculpting and drama far outshadow dance. It is no wonder that dance is not seen as a human right although dance is unique to our species?
In my next post, we can explore "the elephant in the mostly grey room"--the loss of rights of expression and how one has to fight to get them back.
Photo credit of dancers illegally expressing their human rights at the Jefferson Monument, Washington, D.C., 2011.