Kent State dance community’s responds to Vogue-Jenner photoshoot

Kellie Nock

Kendall Jenner’s latest photo shoot for Vogue España released — two weeks ago —was met with criticism from the dance community. When the model posted a photo on her Instagram from the shoot, it was met with complaints in the comments and on other social media platforms.

Ashley Conboy, sophomore education, health and human services major with a dance minor, expressed her frustrations with the photo shoot.

“She just doesn’t have the technique,” Conboy said. “It’s like she’s making fun of it a little bit. She’s making it look easy, (but) it’s much harder than it looks.”

Conboy has been dancing since she was three years old, and spends about seven to eight hours a week in class dancing. This is not counting the time she spends outside of class practicing her craft and thinking of dance moves.

“Dance is always on my mind,” Conboy said. “It’s a lifestyle.”

Jordan Penrod, a senior dance major, spoke about the magazine’s choice of model.

“Vogue isn’t a dance magazine,” Penrod said. “So I understand wanting a supermodel and wanting someone that would model their clothing. I don’t understand why she had to be on pointe shoes.”

Many dancers have expressed the dangers of wearing pointe shoes when one is not trained in pointe-style dance. Penrod said pointe takes around eight years to master, and is very harsh on dancers’ feet. Pointe dancers begin to train from the time they are 10 years old, and continue through their entire career.

In the photo, Jenner is seen slouching against the bar, which, according to Penrod, is something a real dancer would never do.

“It takes away the dance aspect,” Penrod said. “So we spend our whole lives dedicated to an art form we love, and then for someone who clearly has never done it before to just make it look like anyone can do it, it is kind of disrespectful.”

Jenner also posted a short promotional video for the shoot, where she leaps and prances around a dance studio in what appears to be dancer garb.

Not every dancer was upset about the shoot. Freshman dance studies major Julia Hauf didn’t find it as offensive as other students.

“I thought it was cool at first,” Hauf said. “She (Jenner) has always been my favorite of the Kardashians.”

Hauf has been dancing since she was two years old and dances every day of the week.

“I think the reaction has been a little over-the-top,” Hauf said. “People have been really nasty about it.”

Like many other dancers, Hauf mentioned the benefits of using a real dancer rather than a famous model for the photoshoot.

It remains to be seen if Vogue will try and redeem itself to any readers that may have taken offense to this shoot, but so far neither Jenner nor the publication have made any comment regarding the shoot’s controversial nature. Whether it was a harmless editorial or an appropriation of the art remains a topic of debate.

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