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Ballet Talk for Dancers

just wondering


tsavoie

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Do any of you other parents of DS get sick of hearing" Oh but its different, he's a boy" when you are excited about some triumph of your son? I KNOW its diferent for a boy, because they always stand out in a crowded studio. However, no one seems to take into account the years they have also spent perfecting terchnique, working their way up, and just plain hard work. Sometimes its jsut a bit discouraging. Thanks for letting me rant. Terri

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Yes! (says a parent of a DS) and you can rant anytime you want. I expect I'll nod and smile a lot, and there's times I may even be inspired to join you. :wub:

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Tsavoie and Werlkj, I am not the parent of a boy but I think your concerns are enlightening for the entire ballet community. Perhaps this should be cross-posted!

 

And not just for the parents, but also for our dancing daughters! Recently, I had the opportunity to drive one of the few boys at our school to rehearsals and performances for our spring show ( a long drive!) My dancing daughter was quiet at first but it was wonderful for her to be able to engage in a conversation with him, outside of class -- to hear more about his views and goals, and in short, to realize that the boys are not just there to make the girls look good in pas de deux class! And by the way, the boys brought down the house in the performance!

 

Of course, part of this has to do with social and maturity issues, many of which are overcome (thank goodness) at SI's where there are lots of boys :yucky:

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If I had a nickel for every time I heard how my son's situation in ballet was different from their daughter's, I'd be quite rich. Yes boys' situations are different but recognizing the extra challenges that young fellows in ballet have to face was never the spirit that the statement was made in. It was always that if boys "can dance at all" they have it made or that if they walk into a dance studio that they will receive special treatment.

 

I always wondered if the special treatment included the fact that the gentlemen at our studio had no changing area when the girls had a wonderful place to change and lounge between classes. Might it include the way they were overlooked when parents or teachers made verbal reference to the "girls" in the school or classroom when they really meant all of the students? I wondered if parents realized that special treatment included the way some parent commented "I would NEVER let my son dance!" right in front of a lobby full of young male dancers. I also could have done without the comments on how much fun it was to watch class and be able to see men's bodies in tights. Statements like that about young ladies would never be tolerated. All of the special treatment male dancers receive in and out of the the ballet studio starts to add up!

 

Yes, due to basic supply and demand, there are scholarships and wonderful casting readily available for young male ballet dancers in many schools but not ALL boys are offered them. There are still young men who are rejected from the role of the Nutcracker Prince, residence schools, summer programs, and scholarship offers. Imagine how hard it is for those boys when they overhear the comment, "Oh, he's got it made. He's a BOY!"

 

Being a woman, I am fully aware of many of the battles a young lady has to face in our society to gain respect in any field. Choosing to dance is seen as a frivolous activity to many so that can be a battle for both boys and girls. I respect the fact that someone might want to start this conversation in a forum where parents and dancers, ladies and gentlemen can both comment. I also think there is merit in having a forum where parents of boy dancers can share their unique experiences and support without being lost in a sea of pointe shoes and tutus.

 

t :D

(Now If I can just come to grips with the statement, "He's so LUCKY!")

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I often feel like biting my tongue when these type of comments are made. No one seems to realize that 11 years of dance, is 11 years of dance, be it a male or a female. Also, the middle school years that are full of not talking about what "sport" a boy is involved in so that no nasty comments are made. At least dance is seen as a viable thing for a girl to do in society at large. I'm glad I am not the only parent that hears these comments and just wants to scream. T

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LOL, PAMom, my son has changed in toilets for 9 years! How absolutely spot-on your assessment of boys experience in dance studios is. And the comments of other parents, too, when ds has got into courses, summer schools, now a professional programme "of course, it's easier for boys". It is definitely not easier - there is less competition, true, but the same high standard still has to be reached, without, as you say, the support system and acceptability that exists for girls. Is this attitude world-wide, do you think - it would be interesting to hear from anyone whose ds had a different experience.

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Oh I just have to speak up here. I have a dancing daughter . A very good friend of mine has a dancing son. I see what kind of issues/concerns she has day to day.

 

- does a particular SI accept boys?

- how do they accomodate boys?

- will there be *other* boys?

he's willing to be the only boy but it's sure a LOT nicer if there's a few

- what about the harrassment he gets at his "regular" school

(and it's very real and very direct)

 

And, of course, these issues are related. Were there less stigma attached to boys dancing, there would certainly be more boys dancing. What a shame.

 

This boy is just as committed as my daughter, he's just as passionate as my daughter and, like my daughter, he's willing to put up with everything to pursue dance. Now, it IS true that there's much less competition than there is for the girls and this can be the source of great frustration for girl dancers (and their parents). But my friend and I love to imagine the day that they dance together and, hey, won't that be cool! :D

 

Sharon

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Guest Until The End Of Time

knock knock.....

 

Forgive me I am not a parent I am just a mere danseur.

I have noticed even when I took dance lessons at popular studios when I was 3 all the way to 15 there was never a changing room that were for boys, we always got stuck with taking turns in the bathroom, or we'd show up already dressed. At times the fathers would give us our props for doing our thing but at the same time you wondering if they are laughing inside, or if they are serious. To me Dance is a female dominated world. Us boys tend to dance when we do not do well in sports or simpily have no interest in sports. I have played Lacrosse and Soccer for schools it was alright but wasn't really interested in soccer just Lacrosse then I moved and the school did not have it so I played soccer for one year and that was it. So set aside from College, I enjoy riding my 3 horses, dancing, and producing music and writing poetry and songs. Sports aren't for all boys regardless of the many traditions of father and son things. I think we should get at least some respect for being different and helping your daughters look good on stage, instead of being underrated and considered "different".

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