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Ballet is not for boys so sad, wwyd? - Page 2

post #21 of 88
I was just thinking about this yesterday because DS loves ballet. DD took ballet last year at age three (she didn't want to take it this year) and it was all girls, but the basic outfit for girls was a pink or black leotard with pink or nude tights, and they were allowed to wear "skirts" with their leotard one day a month - no tutus. there was a dress code for boys too, but there were no boys in her class.

The teacher would have gladly accepted boys.

We have many dance studios for kids around here. maybe there are some other ones around that have boys enrolled or are more "boy-friendly"?

I love the idea of a PP who said to make a costume for him. What a great idea!
post #22 of 88
As the mother of boy/girl twins, one of whom is in ballet class, in my opinion, of course ballet is for boys (and girls), BUT... it sounds like this class most definitely isn't. I think some ballet classes especially for the preschool set are basically filled with little girls in frothy confections prancing around pretending to be princesses. If your boy is comfortable with that, fab. But if he's not then I think it would be better to look for a class designed for mixed gender or a class just for boys.
post #23 of 88
When I was taking ballet, we LOVED it when we had a boy in class. We were highschool age though. We also had a man who sometimes performed with the company at our annual "concert" performances.

My "baby" brother came along with me when I was assistant teacher for a "creative movement" (preschool ballet) class. He was 3-4 and he loved it. He got to run around and move, and have a blast. When it was "recital" time and all the little girls got their pink tutus (They only wore leotards in class, tutus are for performances) my mom made him a special suit with a sparkly vest.

He's not into ballet anymore, but I think it was great that he took those classes.

The same school also had a little boy in the tap class, and for recital they did "Aladdin" and the girls were genies, and the boy was Aladdin. It was unbelievably cute!

The studio owner liked me a lot, and she used to let me borrow any of her books I wanted. Some of my favorites were biographies of George Balanchine, and OH shoot the name just slipped my mind. Placenta brain! Eddie Something... he was the guy who George Balanchine created "The Prodigal Son" role for.

My first little "crush" when I was maybe 7 yo was on Mikhail Baryshnikov when I saw him on PBS in The Nutcracker.

Ballet just would NOT be any fun without the amazing and talented guys who work hard and dance their hearts out.

post #24 of 88
My male chauvinist husband said he did not want our boys taking ballet....I was sooo upset. Anyway, they will have to learn from tapes or just on tv because in our culture (African American) it just ain't cool for dudes to do ballet....sickening....

I would definately expose the boys to Europeans who do ballet and avoid American influence. Russians and the French are real good about including males in ballet....after all we do need males in ballet to lift the women right?

We have a real problem with sexual identity still in this country..... :
post #25 of 88
get some angelina balleria videos. Oneof the main characters is a boy and then they cut to a live class which includes a boy.

Our dress code was leotard, skrt and tights (although my dd was excused from tights because of sensory issues. She could get through a preformance but not a class.)
perhaps find somewhere witha decided dress code. Oneo f the better school here (ok its the best but not the most hoity toity by any means, I think it is at the bottom of the fee scale also, bonus) has a basic leotard that everyone must wear (I believe boys and girls) and is color coded by class. They wear black tights with it. girls wear pink slippers, boys wear black. end of discussion. no tutus, no skirts, hair is up without adornments. it is a dance class, not a preschool girl fufu parade (which while fun for the girls and perfectly fine if that is what you want but certainly not very inclusive of boys).
post #26 of 88
Dd's ballet school has a dress code, which I really like as it cuts down on the tutu contests. I highly recommend it.

That said, I think next year we will try to find her a class that is less girl-y. We have a great storybook called Rosie's First Ballet Class (or Slippers?) that has girls and boys in a ballet class, and I keep emphasizing to her that boys can do ballet too, but she just doesn't see any at her school. It's such a feminized environment, so much so that because her dad brings her she can't use the changeroom because there's only one for girls, and they get a stinky men's room instead - although I've suggested to him he just change her in the hall instead, and if they don't like it they can be a bit more welcoming to dads and boys. I think that if schools are really going to be open to more than girls and yummy mummies, there needs to be a natural expectation that they'll be there - something already in place about what they'll wear, a place to change, pictures on the walls of both sexes dancing, etc.
post #27 of 88
Peepsqueak... one of the coolest classes we had was when this guy showed up who had a performance coming up, and he needed extra classes to get back in shape after he'd been away for a while. The guy was actually a professional dancer with the Atlanta Ballet, and guess what, he was African-American. He was strong, handsome, and he could jump amazingly high. That was one of the most memorable classes!

(The other one was when we had a "master class" with a girl who had just moved here from Russia, and barely spoke any english. She was such a big deal in Russia that they made a MOVIE about her life that she starred in over there... wow!)

post #28 of 88
Mikhail Baryshnikov *swoon*

My male chauvinist husband said he did not want our boys taking ballet....I was sooo upset.
This is just so wrong. My "manly" dh took ballet and said it was great -- Never before did he have such great odds in a room full of beautiful women!
post #29 of 88
Originally Posted by RiverSky

Watch some ballets on TV and show your son that indeed, there are men in every single one of them, there have to be men in every one.
I agree.

I remember when I took ballet as a 6 yo, there was one lone boy in the class, and at that age I thought it was strange. I remember, though, that the teacher spent time with just him sometimes, showing him how to do things , and I realized he was special. Then when I saw adults performing ballet, I saw the value in having that boy in our class (years later...).

I like your idea of an outfit that DS can wear, if that would make him feel more comfortable. I think anything that makes him feel more included: showing the class video of men and women in ballet; having him meet another boy in a class; etc would have value.

I also agree that there is some value in encouraging him to stay in the class rather than bow to peer pressure if he really loves it. This is a lesson we all face throughout our lives--how to do what we love even if people are telling us we shouldn't for some reason.

Good luck!
post #30 of 88
Rent White Nights and show him the dance scenes. I love Baryshnikov.
post #31 of 88
The movie "Center Stage" has male ballet dancers figure prominently in it, though the main character is a girl. For children though one might want to self edit the more sexual (all hetero I might add) parts of the film.

I think many of the pp are right that the problem may be that specific class and a different class that emphasizes costuming, etc. less and technique more might be more appropriate. There are definitely plenty of dance classes spewing out male dancers in this country-- there's no shortage of guys trying to get on Broadway or into major dance companies, be it ballet or otherwise.

I think my DS might like to dance-- when he's four or so I might look into a class and see how he likes it. Of course, that's between his hockey lessons which his Russian papa is much more keen on. Although if DS got to a certain age and just said I like dancing more I think DH would let the hockey go-- he wouldn't worry about sexual orientation or anything like that, he's just not a ballet fan.
post #32 of 88
Originally Posted by Irishmommy
Rent White Nights and show him the dance scenes. I love Baryshnikov.
post #33 of 88
my ds said this too and we told him that not only is ballet for boys and menbut ballet makes them amazingly strong and athletic and they can swing ballerinas around in the air. He quite liked that idea. I think it's wonderful that your ds is into it.
post #34 of 88
Boys have a much better chance at a career in ballet, because there are soooooo many girls. I remember reading a book about a ballet school through the public school system in NYC, I forget the name but maybe some searching would find it. At any rate, it's almost more worth it to put boys in ballet classes because there is less competition later on. (And, have you seen the legs on those dancers? Oh my goodness.) It's also good training for sports.

About costumes, our ballet school has a dress code but they bring out the pink tutus at the end for the girls to wear. When there were boys in the class, they got to wear purple satin capes and be princes.
post #35 of 88
Originally Posted by Kim
This is just so wrong. My "manly" dh took ballet and said it was great -- Never before did he have such great odds in a room full of beautiful women!
yeah - I knew a guy who took belly dancing lessons (worked in a machine shop, too; very manly profession). The local news interviewed him and wanted to know what the guys at work thought. He said something very clever about never having any trouble meeting girls, or if they were smart, they'd be where the girls are too, or something like that!

African dance is big in our community and at first I thought people would think it weird for white people to take it, but it turns out it's REAL big and all kinds of people take the classes.
post #36 of 88
Without boys there would be alot of famous ballets that couldn't be performed...who would lift the girls?

And I agree with the poster that said this class doesn't sound like it's for boys. A class for 3 year olds generally should be movement class, 3 year olds aren't exactly capable of learning official ballet moves. AND tutus? in a class of 3 year olds? Really, it's quite common for a class of 3 year olds to be a coloured bodysuit (usually they get to pick their own colour, but it must be some standard style) and NO tights, and barefeet. Boys would then wear black short or tights and a coloured t-shirt. As everyone gets older, tights and shoes are added and bodysuits have to be the same colour, boys will usually wear white t-shirts. I've danced with a professional ballet school and I've NEVER worn a tutu in a regular ballet class. Tutus are worn when practicing for a specific performance and of course during a performance, but not just for the fun of it. A tutu would be in the way while standing at the barre...
post #37 of 88
To those with PITB husbands: remind them that football legend Lynn Swann took ballet.

chat transcript
Mr. Swann, you took ballet to help your game, correct? How much did it help?

Lynn Swann: I took several years of dance lessons that included ballet , tap and jazz. They helped a great deal with body control, balance, a sense of rhythm, and timing.
post #38 of 88
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola
A class for 3 year olds generally should be movement class, 3 year olds aren't exactly capable of learning official ballet moves. AND tutus? in a class of 3 year olds? Really,

Um, yeah. Here we have many movement classes for three y.o.'s and tutus are defintitely welcome because they FUN and dress-upy which is great for 3 y.o's.

If a boy is going to be serious about dance he can join a more serious ballet school which might be more in keeping with what you are talking about.
post #39 of 88
Originally Posted by maya44
Um, yeah. Here we have many movement classes for three y.o.'s and tutus are defintitely welcome because they FUN and dress-upy which is great for 3 y.o's.
I am not sure if the "um, yeah" was because you were agreeing with part of my statement or if you were being sarcastic. If it was sarcasm, I am not sure of the purpose of it here? And if it wasn't, then my apologies for misinterpreting!

And yes you are likely correct that some parents and children would enjoy the freedom to have their child wear whatver they would like to dance class. Personally, I don't put my child in dance class for dress up. They are there to learn rhythm, balance, coordination, spacial relations with other children, and have fun. You don't need a tutu to have a good time at dance class.

Also, keeping a dress code simple means that some kids don't feel left out because their parents couldn't afford a tutu and keeps cost as a whole down for the parents. The end of the year performanc is a great time for a nice costume, and the kids can practice for several weeks before in the costumes so they get the feel of the costume. Actually the studio my DD is currently at, bring in flowy skirts, scarves etc. a few times during the year for the kids to use in ballet class. This way the teacher can keep an eye on their bodies and what they are doing throughout the year, but still gives the kids the opportunity to wear some fancy stuff throughout the year.

In the case of the OP, she might be better off finding a studio that has more of a simplistic dress code as the overkill of pink is potentially making her DS uncomfortable.
post #40 of 88
How old is he?

I own a dance academy. We have many male students ranging in age from 18months -adults.


Here are some pics of dance guys with their competition classes. There are three boys last year on our competition teams My son Dominick is the shorter, fuller boy in the Ember class. He is on his 5th year now (started when he was 18 months) He absolutely LOVES it!

Maybe your son and Dom could be penpal?
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