Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

what's the oldest that boys can realistically begin ballet?


clueless

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Newbie here.

My 6 y/o DS was born dancing, so I thought taking him for classes was a no-brainer. But wrong. He's tried a few different classes and didn't like any of them. He was the only boy in each - which didn't bother him in the least. But he hated that the little girls were all focused on their hair and pink outfits and didn't seem interested in the actual dancing. :( And being a better natural dancer than the girls probably didn't help him make friends.

He's done some gymnastics but has quit (again) because it's just not dancing. He's rejected martial arts completely.

The older girls at the dancing schools are less over-the-top pink so I think he'd feel more comfortable by that age/stage. But I wonder if he doesn't start until he's say 10 or so if he'll still be able to become a dancer if that's still what he wants??

Thanks all.

Link to post

Definitely wait until you can find the correct environment for him. :) I'd hate to see him turned away from ballet because of the early childhood "girl culture". :(

 

If he has the body waiting until he is around 9 or 10 will not hurt him. Meanwhile, research! Find the best possible school your family can afford and hopefully, it's one that does offer "Men's" classes at some point. It's necessary for their development that they begin classes with other boys as soon as possible, once they begin formal ballet training- creative movement doesn't count. They should also be taking classes with girls at the same time, but those males-only classes are really important.

Link to post
Miss Persistent

Clara 76 is right on the money!

 

While it's not the norm, I have seen a boy start at 15 and get into a company feeder school. I would not be worried at all about getting a boy of 9,10,11 or even 12 into my class as a new student if he has good facility.

Link to post

Miss Persistent, if you are the parent of a young male dancer, please add that to your profile information, as only parents and moderators are allowed to post in this forum.

Link to post
HuckleberryDawg

He can definitely wait, so I wouldn't worry about that. Lots of boys start even later than that and are able to make a career from their dancing.

 

But, and this might only be me, I got a whiff of condescension from your post. I think it's probably a generalization that the little girls were "all" focused on their hair and outfits. While I realize that our DS's are special just because there aren't many/enough of them, it's probably not the attitude you want to lead with when you eventually take him in. There are little girls in both my DS and my DD's classes that are "better natural dancers" than their peers and it doesn't really cost them friends.

Link to post
Guest coupe66

My ds began dancing seriously at 15.9 yrs. old - just 3 months shy of his 16th birthday. He began taking a teen/adult class right before Thanksgiving, and by January decided to sign up for more classes. In April, he switched to a pre-professional school, and worked his way up to the top of the pre-professional levels. And much to his surprise, several days ago the AD offered him a position with the company as an apprentice/trainee for the upcoming year, to begin in the Fall. Ds just turned 18 a few months ago. So, I hope this offers you some encouragement :) I think with girls it is really a lot harder to start later, but not always the case with boys.

Link to post
... I would not be worried at all about getting a boy of 9,10,11 or even 12 into my class as a new student if he has good facility.

Forgive my ignorance ... but what is "good facility".

Link to post

It usually refers to having a good body for ballet--good proportions, nice line, adequate (or better) feet, some natural turnout, etc. It could also include a talent for dance.

Link to post
... I got a whiff of condescension from your post. I think it's probably a generalization that the little girls were "all" focused on their hair and outfits. While I realize that our DS's are special just because there aren't many/enough of them, it's probably not the attitude you want to lead with when you eventually take him in. There are little girls in both my DS and my DD's classes that are "better natural dancers" than their peers and it doesn't really cost them friends.

 

Oops. Sorry I can see how I could be interpreted that way but it's not the way it was meant.

DS actually has a twin sister who has been trialling classes alongside him. I guess my perception of the girls as a group is heavily influenced by DD's attitude and the way she describes the other girls' reactions to him.

Link to post
It usually refers to having a good body for ballet--good proportions, nice line, adequate (or better) feet, some natural turnout, etc. It could also include a talent for dance.

Thank you!! I'm sorry if this is not the right forum to keep asking questions, but what are good feet??

He used to sleep in frog splits as a baby (looked horribly uncomfortable at that) - I think that's kind of what a turnout is?

Link to post

Good feet for ballet typically have a relatively high arch and instep, as well as sufficient flexibility in the ankle to allow for then to smoothly continue the line of the leg when pointed. This can be developed to an extent.

 

And yes, turnout refers to rotating the legs outward in the hip socket. This can also be developed, and usually improves a great deal with training. However, I wouldn't worry too much about these things at your son's age--children's bodies change so much as they grow, especially during the teen years, that it is difficult to predict how they will end up. Besides, the physical requirements for boys are somewhat less strict than for girls, partly because they don't dance on pointe, and partly because there are not as many of them in ballet in the first place.

Link to post
I'm sorry if this is not the right forum to keep asking questions, but what are good feet??

 

You may want to read this thread: Ballet Talk . The beginning of the thread talks about the use of the word "facility". Near the end of the thread, it talks about the use of the term "good feet".

Link to post

My son started dancing ballet at 9. He has been dancing for 1.5 years. He is now in the pre pro stream and is doing his Grade One exam this June.

 

He also has turnout past 180 degrees (they can turn a bit backwards...altho that isnt encouraged.).

Link to post
  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to encourage you that yes, in the right school the focus on pink-and-sparkle-and-frills does change pretty early on when the students move from creative movement classes into beginning classical ballet classes. This usually seems to happen around 6-8, depending on the school's culture and leadership. Ds never minded the frilliness of the little girls and they never seemed bothered by a boy in their midst, but I do remember him telling me very earnestly at 6, "I think I'm ready to go to the 'serious' ballet class we talked about."

 

And even at 6 and 7 the girls' attitudes seemed to change as they moved from classes with loose dress-codes and little skirts to classes where they were required to wear uniform leos (in colors other than pink) and the expectations for hair and classroom deportment changed.

 

On the other hand, it was around 8-9 that ds began to lament being the only (or nearly only) boy around. I loved his first little school for many reasons, but it *did* make a difference for him to be in a school with older male dancers, male teachers, other boys...

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...