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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet Bullying


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I am a 15 year old dancer, at the local company/school in my city. I have been dancing for about two and a half years now, but recently some of the people at my school found out somehow, and the teasing and jabs haven't stopped since then. Appearently, ballet is seen as "sissy" or "gay" where I live, and I am really getting sick of it. I'm wondering if anybody has any ideas to help stop this, or do I need to just put my head down and wait for this to blow over? Please, anything would be helpful. Thanks.

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  • Administrators

Theconnman, I moved this topic to Male Dancers forum. We have two male Teacher Moderators, and a number of male students who will be best able to help you with this problem. So sorry you are having to deal with that.

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In my opinion, you should simply ignore them. You dance for yourself, not for them, right? :)

If some guys bother you with silly questions, you can tell them "I'd rather go dance with a bunch of beautiful girls than play football with other guys".

After all, react or not is your own choice, but keep dancing. :wink:

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Theconnman, the best I can say is "it will get better." Unfortunately kids can be really really mean. When they find out that they've got under your skin they will continue to do whatever it is that causes the reaction that they desire. Confronting them means they got under your skin. Ignoring them might make them a little less confrontational... but won't always stop the behavior. There is a silly saying "sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me" which has so much truth - don't let their hurtful words change your love of dance - it is their problem that they do not understand how athletic and powerful ballet truly is.


I think all of us male dancers have dealt with these taunts in different ways... Edward Villella was actually a former amateur boxing champion before he was one of the most famous principal male dancers at NYCB. He started boxing to help defend himself from these types of taunts - and while I don't recommend it - that was his means of dealing with this kind of behavior.


When I went through these kids of issues in junior high school, my family decided it was better for me to be driven to a new school district. Leaving my childhood friends was an initial challenge but school life became much easier when I was able to develop new sets of friends with similar interests.


Similarly, if you desire to dance professionally, moving to a residential ballet school would alleviate much of this. Again... you will be around other people with similar interests who would be less likely to bully and taunt.


Keep your head up... it does get better!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you all. I appreciate the help and support. :happy: Everyone, keep on dancing!!!

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  • 2 months later...

Kids can be very mean, and it's hard to avoid bullies.


When I was 5 (in 1966!) I wanted to take ballet classes, though I can't remember why. I really, really wanted to, to the point where I pushed my mom into finding a school and ask about getting an application. They told her to wait until I was 8, and if I still was interested then re-apply. By then I'd discovered the whole "boys don't dance, and especially don't take ballet" thing. It wasn't until 20 years later than I decided to sign up for a class, and even then it was partly a way to meet women (I didn't get any dates but I did rekindle my interests in ballet). I've found adults are much more open to men in ballet, and society's dictates for how men must act have become more accepting.


If dance is something you really want to study, don't let bullies rob you of the experience.


If you want a bit of a laugh, go to YouTube and search for "Isenbeck ballet ad". There's all sorts of things wrong with the ad, but it's good for a laugh and shows one way to handle the doubts of your friends.

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