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Ballet Talk for Dancers
dancetaxi

I know I can't change the world, but....

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greatboys

Well, silly me, I have a 10 year old. :P

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DaveS

I've returned to this forum after a brief hiatus and read through this thread with great interest. As some of you were aware, I recently made it known on another thread that I was in the preparation stages of writing a script for a movie about a boy taking up dance. Well, the hiatus was simply because I dived in deep and wrote the screenplay. It's now done.

 

I read and re-read many of the discussions here, because while my protégé is an able communicator as well as being more or less the initial role model for my script's lead character, his dancing career has been far less troublesome than I felt needed to be explored for the film's hero.

 

In particular, I have covered the subject of teasing. In the story, the circumstances are such that the hero's enrolment in the dance school becomes a topic of gossip amongst some of the girl students, so that it isn't long before various students at his academic school know, including the resident bully and his cronies, completely without the hero uttering a word to anyone (though he did choose to discuss the subject prior to enlisting with his two close friends). I chose this method as I felt the character was the sort who wouldn't make it known far and wide, not because of embarrassment, but simply because he didn't see it as a major issue that warranted some grand announcement, as he had enlisted in order to augment his fitness levels so he could beat the school bully on the basketball court. He had been initially attracted by a poster he sees in the school foyer while waiting for his sister to finish her dance class - the poster extolls the virtues of dancing, including fitness, stamina and co-ordination, which are all qualities the hero feels he needs to improve on so he can succeed in his goals back doing school sport.

 

I have a scene where the hero has just beaten the bully in a race in the school swimming carnival, and they face off in the change-room. A third party interrupts, but when told by the bully that the hero dances, the third party responds by saying "So what? I dance at the school dance. He dances. Get over it", thereby deflating the bully's attempt to gang up with others (the bully consequently seeks to inflict physical injury on the hero...).

 

I feel this situation maybe familiar with some boys who dance and who don't make it widely known amongst their friends, peers, associates and family outside the dance school. While I myself wasn't involved in dance when I was young (it wasn't presented as an option at the time and frankly I wouldn't have had the grace and co-ordination to be even remotely decent at it anyway), I was involved in extra-curricular activities that my schoolmates, neighbours and friends were oblivious to, and it wasn't until public events where I was spotted that some schoolmates realised what I got up to in my life outside school (and yes, I got teased back at school too, which was interesting, as the activity involved the slightly military-oriented theme of a youth air corps).

 

Apropro of that, I would suggest that regardless of whether your DSs are dancing, painting, launching model rockets or handing out meals to the elderly, some idiot somewhere is going to try to use knowledge of that to tease. If a child feels it necessary to conceal knowledge of any worthwhile activity for fear of repercussions, then it is those responsible for the environment around that child that are to be looked to in order to change that, be it family, peers, or the community at large.

 

I am trying through my film to address some of the stereotyping that occurs - the hero is asked about if he has to wear a tutu, for example (the final time he is asked that he gets quite angry) - and to do that I am deliberately avoiding some stereotypes (while admittedly emphasising others). I have an adult male dancer in the story (he is an ex-student and now teaches at the school), and he is designed to be very masculine, and have nothing about him that suggests that he is anything other than a heterosexual man - straight talker, disciplined, almost military serious. I am deliberately avoiding any sexual references (unlike "Billy Elliot"), as I am also avoiding foul language and drug references (even though the hero has a 15 year old sister). I feel subjects of a sexual nature are all too eagerly woven in to discussions about young dancers, even though the dancers themselves see sex as a bit of a non-issue. The film is coming at it from that angle - sex is a non-issue, even though the bully tries to make it one (and fails).

 

The film is a long way from being made - it takes time to make films - but I will keep people on this forum up to date on its progress if there is any interest. I would also like to remain involved in this forum as in learning from you all, I am able to not just write what I hope is an uplifting, inspirational film screenplay, but I am also able to offer words of guidance and support to my protégé, whom was my original inspiration for the film, and remains an all-round inspiration anyway.

 

 

 

 

David

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greatboys

Wow, how wonderful, I am my son's biggest supporter, his whole family supports him, uncles (from the Marine Corp) supports him. My son did tell me that the kids in the hall tried to trip him up at school by sticking their legs out in front of him, I asked him what did he do, he said "I gran je te over every one and then he laughed" He says he does get called ballet boy, but then he pointed out he is a boy and in ballet.

My son went to YAGP in Orlando the teacher made everyone in his fourth grade class clap and wish him well, my son said he was very embarresed by it all, but he did say it made him feel proud. The teachers at his school also put pictures of my son as fritz in the nutcracker on the walls at school. My son seems to have lots of friends in the school and is now quite popular, I think this is because of the way the teachers have addressed him being a dancer as an art.

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Clara 76

Your film sounds very promising DaveS, and I wish you all the good Karma that it will become a great success! :rolleyes:

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greatboys

I can't wait for the movie, young male dancers need movies like that, it will encourge more yongsters to dance. I was suprised to learn that my son liked ballet, I never thought I would have a male child in ballet. But I am the type of parent whose child could do anything and I will support it. I also support the idea that if you start something than indeed finish it...every time my son says he doesn't want to go to class, I tell him finish out the term and don't sign up again. I am glad the world of dance is exploding for men. The show "so you think you can dance" may not be as professional as we would like it to be, but it is opening some doors and encourageing more guys to the art.

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