Katy Perry empowers young dancers on International Women’s Day
Melbourne’s iconic MCG fills with eager spectators as anticipation builds for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final between Australia and India. Amongst the record-breaking 86,174 attendees, one bay of seats stands out in a splash of purple.
500 lucky 12-to-16 year-old dancers are ready to celebrate International Women’s Day. Their excitement is palpable as they wait to perform with international star, Katy Perry, in recognition of the social, political, economic and cultural achievements of women.
Early this morning, my car was filled with giggly excitement as I drove my 13-year-old daughter and her dance friend to their final rehearsal. The girls are honoured to be part of the mass dance group performing at the ‘G’. In the words of the International Women’s Development Agency,
‘We celebrate those who came before us, those who stand beside us now, and those who will come after.’
The girls have worked hard. Hours and hours of weekend and after-school rehearsals in the typical Melbourne weather extremes of heat, cold, wind and rain. Over the past three weeks, my daughter has arrived home sunburnt, muddy, wet and, above all, tired. But, like most dancers, she’s loved every second of this experience. I can’t even imagine how much she’s loving today.
By all accounts, the performers are friendly and inclusive, swapping stories, adding each other on snapchat, and totally revelling in the awe of being ‘this far’ away from Katy Perry. The have learned how to work together as a huge group of 500 as well as in smaller clusters. They have props, in-ear direction and a big responsibility. The girls are completely reliant on each other for the success of this show.
My daughter’s excitement is two-fold. Her awe-filled giggles explode in anticipation of performing with Katy Perry; as an artist Perry has been a staple in our house for the past 12 years. On top of this, my daughter and the other dancers are representing gender equality publicly and internationally, while doing something they adore. Their years of back-to-back dance classes, missed sleepovers, sore muscles and aching feet have paid off. They are rejoicing in being part of a hundred-year-old movement that celebrates all women in all their diversities.
Hear them roar.
*Featured Image: Katy Perry performs during the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup Final between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)