“People judge dancers harshly. When you say you are a dancer, their minds go straight to twerking and rub-adubing. There is more to dance than that,” Prisca Atite notes.

These perceptions, according to Atite have in a lot of ways been perpetrated by the media, especially today where different outlets are available to people.

Movies are released that pertain to dance and the presentations made are taken by the general populace at face value. If these ideals are incorrect, then the public is misguided.

In order to overcome the stereotypes that are associated with dance, the media needs to be involved with a change in message being communicated in order to portray the current reality of the dance experience.

The media has the ability to reach millions of people, especially through movies as they are able to give the audience a more detailed picture of dance. She adds that the dance industry is undermined by lack of training resources for the public in the different dances.

“Uganda also needs better facilities such as studios, more teachers to be trained and performing spaces and this can help combat youth unemployment since youth are the biggest employees of arts and culture,” the dancer observes.

The dancers should also actively participate in correcting the misconceptions sorrounding their trade. The different social media outlets give the dancers a voice and the reality TV shows on dance give them a platform to present themselves the way they wish to be seen.
Dancing all the way to the bank
The best way to overcome negativity is to succeed. Atite now works as trainer, choreographer whose focus is majorly on modern contemporary dance, latin flavour, ballroom, folk or traditional and ballet.

Hers is one of the over 20 dance studios to open up business this year. Atite’s Dance Adventure Studios in Najeera offers personal dance classes and cardiac-rehabilitation programms for patients with Parkinson’s disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

SPREAD THE WORD
The different platforms such as blogs and twitter pages allow the dancers to educate people on who they are and how they wish to be perceived in real time and with little effort and cost.