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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Teasing


pbs

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My son was being teased about dancing, but he wanted a dance hoodie anyway.

 

I looked high and low for one that would not lead to more teasing.

 

I also did not want him to think he needed to hide the fact that he loves ballet.

 

I bought him this hoodie sweatshirt and he loves it. The other kids think it is cool.

 

http://clothing.cafepress.com/item/flight-...shirt/337380956

 

The link is not working. Can you assist and tell me the name of the product?

 

Thanks.

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The website is cafepress.com and I got as far as:

T-shirts_Careers & Professions_Creative & Fine Arts_Performer_Dancer

and I found bunches of pages of t-shirts!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Theballetman

I was teased so much that i did not go to my first ballet class in which i regret when i was nine but my nephew loves to dance to his music but i would like him to do ballet

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I was teased so much that i did not go to my first ballet class in which i regret when i was nine but my nephew loves to dance to his music but i would like him to do ballet

 

This is such a tragedy balletman, I don't know how old you are, but I can well imagine that this was a huge problem to deal with and overcome in days gone by and when society was less enlightened and accepting! I often wonder how any professional male dancers got through their early training years - it must have been hell for many of them? I don't think there are any easy answers as to how to cope and overcome teasing and bullying, but thankfully educational agenda's do seem to have become interested in celebrating and respecting diversity and hopefully as time ticks by this type of ignorant reaction to boys who dance will continue to lessen.

 

Our youngest son has also endured unpleasant teasing (typically related to gay name calling) as a result of his ballet and dance interests at his first primary school. After trying the ignore them tactic, followed by the confront them tactic and then the formally report them tactic, we ultimately failed to resolve this with the school and after seeing our sons self confidence and esteem dwindle we eventually moved him to another primary school more local to his current dance school. This really did the trick for our son, a new start in a school with enlightened staff that celebrate individuality and diversity and mixing with children that he was already familiar with (who also shared a love of dance) seems to have now got him through this difficult stage. I really don't know what we would have done if this move hadn't worked, but thankfully it did and although he still has to put up with the odd unhelpful comment, he now seems more resilient and able to shrug it all off nowadays.

 

In September our son commences at a vocational dance school, we are not daft enough to assume all our worries will be over then, but we sincerely hope that the issue of him relating to his other male peers will become a worry of the past?

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  • 5 months later...
MySonLovesBallet
My son was being teased about dancing, but he wanted a dance hoodie anyway.

 

I looked high and low for one that would not lead to more teasing.

 

I also did not want him to think he needed to hide the fact that he loves ballet.

 

I bought him this hoodie sweatshirt and he loves it. The other kids think it is cool.

 

http://clothing.cafepress.com/item/flight-...shirt/337380956

 

The link is not working. Can you assist and tell me the name of the product?

 

Thanks.

 

 

They must have sold out of the sweatshirt/hoodie.

 

It has a silhouette of a male danceur/ballerino leaping with arms in 4th position and the words to the side "Ballet... A Different Kind of Flight School."

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  • 1 month later...

Wow, i was the original poster I believe, on this thread and somehow neglected to read all the subsequent posts.

 

Update: my DS is now in 6th grade and tells us he is still being teased by a few classmates (both boys and girls, he says). He has his comebacks and is boosted by a huge sense of pride in what he does (including performing with one of the world's best ballet companies [and being paid for it] and recently having the lead boy role in a small professional production of the Nutcracker) but obviously it is bothering him and as other posters have noted, middle school is a really tough time all around. We are currently looking at the possibility of moving him more of an arts-related school where he may feel more accepted. It's not easy.

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Middle school was such an ugly time for us, and our family elected to keep the whole ballet-thing quiet. I can't imagine how bad it would've been if most of his peers knew about the dancing. Our DS wanted to quit and go into other activities but always showed so much joy and happiness in ballet class. So we pushed. We received very little support from the school, with the exception of one art teacher. The school actually told us it was better to keep the whole thing quiet! And counseling staff said he should just quit ballet. We didn't consider moving to a different school since he was still playing sports, which was our attempt to help him fit in with his middle school peers. We even had him try the school musical in an attempt to find other people "like" him. That didn't work out very well, either. We assumed it would be too expensive to move schools since only private schools were availabe - nothing public. In hindsight, I really wish we had made the move then - at least by 8th grade. Scholarships avaialable to boys make it a lot easier to handle financially then one would think.

 

Ironically DS' brothers - one who is just now finishing up middle school - get teased because they are very proud of their brother and like to share his experiences which are impressive and unique from a younger child's perspective. Especially those opportunities that generated money. They are able to shrug it off, but of course it's no where near the intensity that DS had to face.

 

Good luck with your decisions. If it's any consolation, high schoolers seem to be much more tolerant! And that's only two and a half years away, right?!

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I'm so sorry nymom...I will send out positive vibes for you and your family in hopes that the situation improves. There is a saying, "That which doesn't kill us, makes us stronger", but it may not be much help.

 

Hopefully, things will improve, and this bad time can be put in the past.

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david from nc

One of my DS kept his ballet hidden from his classmates in middle school. I'm not sure what he told his friends when he missed school for Nutcracker performances. He is now in high school and is very open with everyone about being a dancer. Of course he is 1 of 2 boys in the dance academy at the local magnet high school so it would be impossible to keep hidden. He still occasionally has some teasing issues but has learned with maturity how to deal with it.

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It's great to hear your feedback, thank you! Most of my son's classmates have been with him in school since first grade, believe it or not, and he's always been open about ballet so there's really no going back. Also, he is extremely proud of what he is doing and only rarely hesitates to let his classmates know of his performing, in particular, although we have told him to keep his comments/outreach on this part of his life more confined only to his truly good friends.

 

As for the school, they are understanding to a point about his extracuricular activities but do get annoyed when he's tired from rehearsals etc and have not hesitated to note this although my DS keeps up with the work and is doing fine academically. My DS does not participate in any group sports at the moment (no interest) and honestly, has no time for that, so not an option for us.

 

At any rate, we'll see what we think of a more arts-centric school which is built around children who are pursuing ballet, acting etc. and go from there.

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foliedespagne

I'm so sorry to hear the sad stories of boys being teased. My heart goes out to all the boys and parents.

 

Here's what happened to us. It was clear that ds was a good dancer from a young age. I didn't try to put him into anything formal until 3rd grade or so. It was a ballet class. The teacher went to great lengths to make him feel comfortable, but the teasing... it was just too much.

 

He quit ballet until he was 12/13ish. In the interim, though, I arranged for private ballroom lessons, and that helped him realize that he did love dance and it would be ok to dance in one way or another. At 12, we found a school with a boys' program. It served to make him feel that it was fine to do ballet although we had to switch after about a year to a more technique-oriented school. He's been dancing and enjoying ballet so much since then. No more teasing, and he does enjoy, as he says, "the social aspect", ie, being around the girls.

 

Now, that said, from 7th grade on, we have schooled at home (online public charter). So I'm not sure that I really have any suggestions since we circumnavigated the places where and when teasing is the worst. And now, in the high school years, I do think things settle a bit. If we had an good arts high school in our area, I would definitely consider that. But we don't, so we soldier on. We've run into a few other issues, anti-ballet feeling, but work through it (with much support and advice from this board).

 

There have been many good suggestions here, so I hope you find something that works and helps. But keep trying, because I know that my ds now would have preferred to be dancing those years and is now feeling that he has to work extra hard to catch up.

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If it is any consolation, most public schools are not understanding about anything outside of their little world. I had two non-dancing sons who played a not so main stream sport and the one that went to public school was always hassled for missing days and being tired despite the fact that their school jocks missed more than him (those were excused, his was not) and were disruptive in class. I kept going to the shcool and pointing out the inequaty of all of it and they finally backed down. With all the issues of bullying as well, I think this is something that should be pointed out to the school as well, if not to some of your ds friends' parents.

A friend of my dd went to school with him and he had to stand up for him against a group of bullies about the boy dancing. He challenged them to come to a class and to do what the young man did everyday, even going so far as to offer to set up a "private" class for them. They backed down and did not hassle the young man again for a while. People have no understanding how rigourous the training is. Maybe have him challenge his friends to try it before they tease and criticize.

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foliedespagne

"If it is any consolation, most public schools are not understanding about anything outside of their little world. I had two non-dancing sons who played a not so main stream sport and the one that went to public school was always hassled for missing days and being tired despite the fact that their school jocks missed more than him (those were excused, his was not) and were disruptive in class."

 

This is definitely true. In 7th grade, before ds got back into dancing, he was asked to sing in a professional opera production while still enrolled in public middle school. It was a wonderful opportunity, and we weren't going to pass it up even though he had to miss some school. His principal was extremely dismissive of this opportunity and unhelpful, and the teachers told us they couldn't give him his work ahead of time or during the time so that he could keep up.

 

That was the year I started to look into alternative types of schooling. Yes, kids are excused for the mainstream sports without question, but other unusual sports, the arts, acting, etc., are not regarded in the same way. One of ds's friends was asked to go on tour with our company's Nutcracker this season as Fritz. She had the same problem. No cooperation. She went anyway.

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