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We Need to Talk About the Kendall Jenner “Ballet” Video for Vogue Spain

Well, this is…confusing. Vogue Spain just posted a video featuring Kendall Jenner—and it is very, very facepalm-y.

Why? Because they decided to dress Jenner up in tutus and legwarmers and have her “do ballet,” though she’s clearly not ballet trained. In the voiceover, she talks about “loving being a kid” and missing childhood; the video is, apparently, a sort of little-girl fantasy on ballerina-ness. Which, OK. But to our eyes, the whole thing reads as pretty disrespectful to the artists who devote their lives to this demanding craft.

Kendall Jenner, Vogue Spain

Oh dear.

This makes us especially sad because the Vogue family is usually SO GREAT when it comes to ballet. They feature beautiful dancers all the time—goodness, Teen Vogue did a whole video series about School of American Ballet and Miami City Ballet School students. They know better. And this could easily have been a lovely video: Just put Jenner—who is a truly gifted model—in some gorgeous ballet-inspired fashion, and then surround her with top-level dancers. Everybody wins!

What do you all think? Discuss.

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About Margaret Fuhrer

Margaret Fuhrer is Dance Spirit's editor in chief.
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38 Responses to We Need to Talk About the Kendall Jenner “Ballet” Video for Vogue Spain

  1. Allison says:

    Very disappointed in Vogue and this video. I have always loved Vogue and have actually liked Kendall Jenner for proving she’s a good model and didn’t make it big just because of her family. Even though we all know that is why she became such a famous model very fast because of her family. Being a retired model and a dancer as well as a Mom to a Dancer. This is very disappointing to those who work so hard to become a professional Ballerina.

  2. Fiona says:

    I think people are interpreting this video very wrong. She isn’t pretending to be a ballerina, she’s talking about being a kid again and being able to not take yourself too seriously. I remember the days where I would dress up as a ballerina, tutus and leg warmers and all that fun stuff and just prance around and be silly. I think that’s what this video is all about. She’s someone who had to grow up extremely fast, but some days she just longs to be a kid again and enjoy those moments.

  3. Patricia Lizotte says:

    Seriously can’t anybody do anything in this world that’s free spirited without media criticism! ! If u listen to her words, she’s not trying to be a nivice, just a free spirit! Get a life and quit criticizing everything u see..

  4. Yesika says:

    I am so thankful that Dance Spirit picked up on how disrespectful this ad was to dancers. While her message is authentic to her experience growing up fast, the imagery is misleading. Furthermore it touches on a growing fade of portraying fashion models as professional dancers/ballerinas. Sure, they may attend a barre class here and there and workout and that is nothing when compared to the level of work and dedication real dancers have put in. It feels like they are robbing what is so spectacular about dance when individuals who are not trained prance around portraying the ‘dancer’ image. Admire dance, love it, aspire to it, but please don’t pretend to be something you are not.

  5. Madison says:

    Yeah…..no…..this is disrespectful to the dance community and how hard dancers work to be a dancer!! As a dancer myself I feel disrespected! And to think I liked Vogue….

  6. Corinna Lines says:

    I just find it very ironic that my daughter and her friends often miss out on childhood stuff like birthday parties because they have ballet class, performances, competitions… if she’s meant to be portraying a carefree childhood, why not let her dress up like kids do, rather than try to impersonate a ballet dancer?

  7. Paulette Reid says:

    I also don’t like seeing non dancers’ portrayed as such. It takes away the hard work that dance is. I realise she’s talking about her childhood, she didn’t dance, so why the dance gear. Some of the commercials I see with models trying to dance are quite appalling. Why not dress her in something she did as a child, if anything, but non dancers need to leave dance alone

  8. Victoria says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQKF_eVvytY this is ballet… a star, Svetlana Zakharova. She devotes her whole life to ballet, there is a difference…

  9. Brittany says:

    Why leave this up to ballet she clearly is talking about being a kid and growing up to fast. Why bash her. She is the only “REAL” Jenner. She doesn’t have a fake bone in her body! Free Spirited I don’t dance now and I did when I was a kid and if I wanna put on a ballerina out fit and play around like I did when I was a child I will ?

  10. Chris Bryan says:

    I have never expected to see butthurt ballerinas…

  11. Char says:

    I found myself tuning out her words because I was watching her move around a ballet studio, but obviously not a ballerina. She should have been on a swing or playground. Wasn’t she talking about her childhood? It just didn’t flow.

  12. MC says:

    I don’t think this is disrespectful. I’ve been in dance classes most of my life and I completely respect the art. I think in this video she’s just being silly, jumping around in ballet inspired clothing but I don’t think she’s in any way pretending she is a ballerina or even a dancer, and I don’t think this video was intended to be disrespectful. Agree that it sucks that people can’t just have fun and be silly without everyone criticizing everything and calling it disrespectful. People get way too offended way too easily nowadays. Can’t we all just do our own thing and be kind to one another and accept one another and not freak out over something obviously not intended to be “disrespectful”? She’s just being girly and silly, not pretending to be a dancer. There are real issues in the world, this isn’t one of them.


  13. It’s very hard to watch. Bad dancing always is once you’ve been immersed in the beauty of the professional stage.

  14. Jess says:

    It kinda makes me think of Kendall’s response to Stephanie Seymour… How is Kendall Jenner hoping around having fun describing her childhood taking away from your hard work as a dancer? Can’t you both shine and realize that is why people love you, because you are an amazing dancer? People don’t love Kendall because she claims she a dancer… She’s a model. And in this video she is modelling. Surprised there wasn’t a huge reaction from the all the underground punks when Marc Jacobs or Alexander Wang “appropriated” (this word sucks so much) the punk culture. People have so much dark inside them… What you see in the video says more about you than Kendall.

  15. Shauna says:

    This was CLEARLY poor decision making on the production part, NOT the story she’s telling or the movement she chose… Picture her in pedestrian clothing in a house or park, same movement, same story. There wouldn’t be any dancing drama. Be secure enough in your craft as an artist to know who you are and your capacity will grow. As a dancer, choreographer, and director i appreciate the story and the intention. Look at it as art and take down your notes. Still try to see the beauty that IS there. See her story of finding joy and freedom

  16. Josie says:

    I think everyone who actually is offended by this video has some serious issues. She’s doing a photo shoot and talking about her child. I can’t understand how anyone can take offense to her hoping around joyfully. Its sad and pathetic that no one can freely express themselves without some idiot taking personal offense over something so harmless…

  17. Kaylee Megan says:

    The vide was facepalmy enough, but part of this shoot has her in pointe shoes and a formal gown, which crosses “pretending to be a kid” right into “I’m a legit ballerina.”

  18. Justina Raven says:

    Let me get this straight — a non-ballerina did a video where she danced around a little without training? OH THE HUMANITY! People aren’t allowed to dance without training???? Get a life.

  19. John says:

    Dance Spirit… way to stir the pot up out of nothing. She was a model that was doing what was asked of her. Just like professional dancers sometimes take jobs doing things they aren’t good at (acting, singing) yet we don’t call them out for being disrespectful to real actors and singers when they aren’t good. People need to stop being so offended over everything!

  20. Blair Ribeiro says:

    1) Last time I checked, Vogue was a fashion magazine, not an endorser of the art-form it uses as a backdrop to promote the style of clothing its got its actress/model wearing. 2) My comment is going to reinforce the stereotype that dancers are dumb (as in lacking in intelligence), but, hey, it’s the blogger’s fault for projecting that image, not mine because either this blogger IS dumb or she willingly shuts off parts of her brain in order to support her need to be pissed off about something so she has something to write about. It’s kind of like the blogger who is bitching about the AD is capable of “getting it,” but her need to wake up in the morning to find something to be offended by shuts off her brain. I read her criticism and this is how it goes: The blogger sites that in her voice-over, Jenner says, “I had to grow up pretty fast, I love being a kid — to run around like a child just not caring,” (good job, good job, you’re on the right track. That’s right, this little 1 minute video is SUPPOSED to be undisciplined and child-like…you know the way a kid would see ballet. So we should see somebody acting child-like care-free, twirling). And OMG, what do we see? Jenner is dancing around like a child – not busting ass like she’s auditioning for FLASHDANCE waiting for a bucket of water to get dumped all over her at an opportune moment. Enter the “brain-off” feature on the wall of this blogger’s Cranium Command Center being switched ON as she says these wise words set to the tune of I AM WOMAN, “The video is, apparently, a sort of little-girl fantasy on ballerina-ness, Which is O.K. But to our eyes, the whole thing reads as pretty disrespectful to the artists who devote their lives to this demanding craft.” Umm, what? How self-centered and one-track minded are you? Did Jenner’s voice-over include anything that would lead you to believe that the next 60 seconds of watching her was going to be a tribute to the hard work it takes to be a professional dancer? Actually…Did Jenner’s voice over even specifically mention the PROFESSION of dancing? No, you moron! Why must any AD that includes a visual reference to dancing or sports have to kiss the asses of the professionals in that field? It’s not about you or how hard you work. It’s about the clothes Kendell Jenner has on! The whole voice-over leads you to believe that you should be thinking about the time when you were little and you thought everything was simple and easy and that it wasn’t hard-work to be a dancer. If that is the feeling you got, then the AD succeeded. You just decided to tag on you’re own completely CREATED agenda to e pissed off at! 3) It’s not Jenner or Vogue Espana’s job to endorse ballet; designers just make clothing “inspired” by things; activities; etc. You know, clothing that matches with the “fantasy.” Likewise, it’s not a professional ballet or dancer’s job to sell clothing or a style, you just wear clothes so that you can bust your ass as a dancer. So how about we let the model/actress do her job of selling a fashion image and you focus on starting a CHANGE.COM petition to un-employ all models/designers/photographers who prioritize a visually stunning shot over blood, sweat, and toe calluses – oh I mean while you focus on professional dancing. Peace!

  21. valerie Shumaker says:

    YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF FUCKING WHINEY BITCHES. WHO CARES THAT SHE WORE APPAREL THAT IS WORN IN BALLET. SO WHAT! I CLEAN HOUSE IN A TUTU, IS THAT AGAINST YOUR LAWS? YOUR FREEDOM TO BE AN ASSHOLE IS ALSO HER FREEDOM TO WEAR WHATEVER THE JOB REQUIRES. GET A LIFE, SPEND YOUR ENERGY ON SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS!

  22. Martha B. Armenta says:

    Being a model and playing the role of a ballerina, at least she could have tried some of the correct ballet positions, she looks ungainly. Although she is talking about being a kid, she is portraying a ballerina, what happened to Vogue? She looks gawky.

  23. Aaliyah W. says:

    All you ballerinas out there need to calm down ok she isn’t even trying to dance in this video she’s just showing how she likes to be a kid etc. Its pretty ignorant of those who are saying rude stuff to her when all she’s doing is playing a role. I liked the video and didn’t see it as her trying to be a ballerina. Keep up the good work Kendall.

  24. Akemi says:

    As a dancer, I’m not offended that she pranced around pretending to dance or whatever it is she was doing that looked like dance. What I am offended about is that Vogue chose to put her in pointe shoes. That I think is disrespectful to the ballet community because I feel like going en pointe is a badge of honor: you’re not allowed your first pair until your teacher says you’re ready. That’s always my gripe with all “ballet-inspired” anything (Ciara’s music video for “I Bet”, for example).

    Anytime they let an untrained dancer wear pointe shoes and make them dance or even just walk en pointe makes me cringe. All the hard work we dancers put into learning technique and getting strong feet, ankles, legs and core is negated by an ignorant stylist who thinks that just because they can buy an $80 pair of shoes, they should let a model with little to no ballet training pretend that she can do what trained dancers can do. It’s not just offensive, it’s also dangerous. Let her pretend to damce ballet, just lay off the pointe shoes.

  25. Aleia says:

    It’s so hard to be a dancer, but then again so worth it at the end. I think this Kendall video is a bit offencive.. and she is clearly no proffesional dancer. Think about all the hard working dancers out there Who dedicate their whole life to dance without having a magasin, newspaper etc.. to acctualy write about it.

  26. PretenderNX01 says:

    If anything her terrible dancing just highlights how much better a professional is when you see one.

    I’ve heard people joke how Olympians make it all look so easy and that maybe if they had a regular person next to them trying to do the same thing, we’d see how hard it is. Kendal is that person, LOL.

  27. Briahrenee says:

    I believe people should stop being cruel idiots and bashing Kendall Jenner for this video. There was at no point in the video where Jenner said she wanted to be a ballerina. The purpose of her portraying to be a ballerina is to express her free spirit. All of these professional dancers, in all honesty, look ridiculous and jealous. Sure, she may not be the best dancer but she never said she was. Grow up and get a shoot with Vogue. Kendall is a beautiful young women and she should be able to express herself however she chooses. I can’t believe these dancers are taking the time out of their day to comment on this subject. There are women out there who afraid to express their true self and I see why.

  28. Alicia says:

    There are people starving in third world countries and you people are getting upset that Kendall Jenner wanted to play dress up…..? Let the poor girl live & spend your time arguing about something that will actually help people❤️❤️

  29. Laura says:

    You guys are all tripping. Leave her alone. If you don’t care keep it out your mouth

  30. fatalreview says:

    KenDULL turned the bar into a pole-thats why the REAL dancers are offended-strippers always call themselves “dancers” and it is offensive to girls who work hard on their art and don’t sell their VayJJ for a living-KenDULL looks like a stripper who is confused that it is a wooden horizontal bar-and not a vertical steel pole with several STD’s slimed on it-as usual any Klown Skannkk Horde fashion mag photo spread is just about selling sex-funny world Playboy stops printing pornnn and the “fashion” mags base their whole existence on it now-if anything proves that fashion industry is just evil manipulation of women for profit -like any pimp does-its the over saturation of ALL the Klown Skankk Horde sliming all over their pages-the world told them it makes them no class pornnn peddlers but they wanted that social media presence so bad they sold out the whole industry to a pack of slores

  31. Paulina says:

    Shut the fuck up people! Y’all hurt because not a real dancer is featured in the video? WELL, they chose Kendal and this is how she wants her video! Get a life people. Y’all always tryna find something wrong with other people. Soo fucked up

  32. Belle Perkins says:

    Okay but like not to mention the fact that there are photos from this shoot of her in pointe shoes… the director of the shoot literally had her pulling herself up onto pointe at the bar, leaning on her hands and her butt because the shoes aren’t even broken in… it’s so incredibly unsafe.

  33. Angie says:

    As a dancer myself I feel like Kendall had the right to do what she want. She is talking about growing up fast but there is never one were she say that she is a ballerina. Ive worked hard to be a dancer and I really don’t care that she was just in a tutu. People of this world need to stop hating on people they really don’t now what she really does for living or on her free time. So everyone need to stop hating on her. Because she might be a dancer but we will never know for sure till she tells us for sure.

  34. Jmil says:

    Can she not just enjoy ballet as a hobby? I’m sure there are things ballerinas aren’t good at but that doesn’t mean they can’t just do it for fun

  35. Chelly says:

    If you are a true ballerina or “dancer” from the heart, you should be able to interpret her words to the video. This has nothing to do with dance.

  36. Bell says:

    In all honesty I train 30 hours a week for ballet. It is in no way childish and I devote my time to dance even though I’m just 14. I’m upset that some people don’t find this offensive in some way

  37. Nunya bizness says:

    Why isn’t anyone criticizing people who model for selfies? Let models be models. They work hard at it.

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