I met, dancer and choreographer, Scott Corr when we both entered our freshman year as Hofstra University dance majors. He was a b-boy, ready to take on ballet and modern with no fear, appearing at our first ballet class with pink slippers. One of my favorite Hofstra moments was when we broke the news to Scotty that guys can wear black ballet slippers. He was stunned... and it was absolutely hilarious. That night we awarded nicknames, Scott's being 'Pink Slippers Mc'Thug.'
Equipped with a sense of humor and excellent work ethic, Scott is a talented dancer, choreographer, and artist. The dance community as a collective can benefit from the awareness and growth of his company Realmenliftwomen.com, which is dedicated to creating more opportunities and support for male dancers. You can meet Scott in person at the NYC company kickoff party in April! Details to follow. In the meantime, here is my interview with him:
Tracey Katof: What is your mission?
Scott Corr: Our mission is to promote the growth of men in the dance community through the sale of apparel, products, and services.
Katof: What is your background in dance?
Corr: When I was growing up as a kid, I loved to dance. I used to watch Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Usher, Sisqo, 'N Sync, and other artists; I would try to copy their moves. I had very supportive parents who wanted me to dance, but I still never took a formal class. Why? Because I felt uncomfortable, and I felt that there were not many classes I could try that were good for boys/men. Instead, I played sports. I was a runner, lacrosse player, and wrestling champion. When I got a little bit older, and let go of my ego a little bit, I started to take dance a bit more serious. As I became more mature, the stigma of being a male in the dance community bothered me less, and less. In my junior year of HS, I started training seriously as a b-boy (breakdancer, popper). I met kids from all over the island, and we would practice at various places- schools, dance studios, you name it! Through this network of people, I met my first hip hop choreographer. I started to learn hip hop choreography, and perform- I loved it. I started picking up some jazz moves (turns, jumps, etc.) from girl friends that I had, and was the first male in my school to perform in a huge Theatre Dance competition called "blue and gold"; sure, there were other men involved in making props, and things like that, but I was the first boy to DANCE! I also started choreographing hip-hop routines for talent shows, and performing salsa routines with my ex-girlfriend. This is where I really started to fall in love with dance...
Katof: Why did you start this project?
Corr: I realized that I have a keen eye for dance companies and performances that are what I call good "starter companies for men (or people outside the dance community)". In other words, I really know how to pick performances that my guy friends actually enjoy! I have even had people who once made fun of dance, ask me about upcoming performances! After recognizing this ability, I thought, "maybe I can use this ability for something positive?"
realmenliftwomen.com. started as an idea to use my ability, and create cool masculine apparel that could promote the growth of men in the dance community. This idea led to more brainstorming, and developed into an entire interactive project.
Katof: How can you help benefit the dance community?
Corr: We sell apparel, and with part of our profits, we donate to dance schools, and college dance programs throughout the country. These donations are used to create scholarships, and tuition assistance for boys/men who want to dance. The idea is to make dance as accessible as possible to these young men. Furthermore, we are able to feature them on our site! So, you go to our site, and purchase a product. That product promotes men in the dance community AND promotes the project. Even better, it helps fund tuition assistance programs! You then get to see these recipients on our site- it all goes full circle. The next person logs on, sees all of these cool recipients, and promotions; then they decide to buy a product, and the wheel keeps on spinning.
We also feature male dancers, and cool lifts on our Facebook page. Anyone who sends us photos can be featured. We want male dancers to get some exposure without having to pay a dime! I am filled with many more ideas, and we are putting them into motion. Right now, we have one product, plenty of ideas, and a dream.
Katof: What do you see in the near future for your company?
Corr: We are working with a dance studio on Long Island to do a "day of dance" led by all men. 2-3 masterclasses, and maybe one yoga class will be offered. Again, all of the teachers will be MEN. We will split profits with the dance studio, and they will create a "Real Men Lift Women" fund. This fund will provide free dance classes to any boys who want to take class at that studio until the fund runs out! We hope that parents who are on the fence about putting their boys in class will say, "Let's try it, it's free!".
Another way to break stigma is by bridging dance with other things that are considered more "masculine". We have gotten a lot of backing from athletes, coaches, and fitness instructors. Why not teach a class that is half cross-fit, and half ballet barre? Why not add a dance class into a baseball camp? Why not mix a petite allegro with push ups, and kettle ball training? Adding dance in little chunks is a great way to slowly push young boys and men into this great community. We plan on combining sports, and other methods of physical training to to show people how athletic, and masculine dance can be!
Next year, we want to have a full online store, workshops throughout the country, and many many more men saying- "Let's dance!"
For more on Scott Corr visit realmenliftwomen.com.
To read more about contributor, Tracey Katof, click HERE.