Blog post

Aiden Fortier

Since I could walk, I was dancing, singing and performing. When I started kindergarten, my parents signed me up for sports. Little did they know that my true pleasure came from creating dances to the music from Disney movies. Knowing nothing about the performing arts, my parents kept me involved in sports until grade 2.

Recognizing my interests, they saw an opportunity to sign me up for a recreational hip hop class. It was during that class that an instructor from the Dance Studio of Maine saw a talent in me and encouraged my parents to sign me up for dance classes. The rest is history!

I am now a 13-year-old student at Gorham Middle School and have been dancing with the same studio for five years. I started out taking a few classes and moved up to the competition dance team. I perform in the genres of jazz, contemporary, ballet, hip hop, acro and tap. It is sometimes hard for me to be myself at school because of gender stereotypes, but I enjoy participating in my middle school talent shows and musicals. Attending dance conventions and competitions with many male dancers and choreographers has also helped me to dismiss the gender bias that exists with being a male dancer. Dancing is for everyone!

My family and dance instructors are very supportive and have given me many opportunities to pursue my passion. I was excited to be a part of the 'Why Dance' documentary last summer and I am thrilled to attend the Male Dancer Conference in New York City.

I love to dance because I can express myself through movement. With dance, I can be 100% me. I hope to continue dancing for as long as possible and am excited to see what the future holds.