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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Social media shares that assume all dancers are girls--how to deal


mln

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You would think that after 10 years as the mom of a male dancer, I would be over this!  But I'm again finding myself so, so tired of seeing Facebook and social media shares of dance articles that assume all dancers are girls.  You've seen them.  They have titles like "Ten Things Every Dancer Should Do Before Class" or "Why Dress Codes are Important," and in far too many of these articles and lists, dancer = girl.  Even my ds's dance teachers and the other parents at his studio (who know boys dance) post them all of the time on the studio FB pages and in other parent groups, and I know they aren't purposely trying to exclude the guys, but these articles still hit me like a punch in the gut.  My ds says he isn't bothered by them (he isn't into Facebook these days), but I think they have caused him to lose a bit of respect for those who embrace these shares.  

Does anyone have good strategies for dealing with these ubiquitous articles and lists?  I have tried clever quips.  I have tried posting articles about boys.  I have tried ignoring them.  But my "educational" efforts haven't worked.  Luckily, the best dance magazines tend to avoid publishing the kinds of articles I'm seeing, so I'm not complaining about articles shared from good magazines.  I'm also not bothered by profiles of female dancers or articles that are written specifically about an issue pertinent to girls.  It's the "every dancer" articles that get my goat, in which "every dancer" needs to start class with a neat bun.

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I hate not being able to find ballet gifts for boys.  Everything is a pair of pointe shoes or a female arabesque.  Even the bumper stickers from studios have pink and girl ballet stuff.

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[edited because this was originally a response to a post that was removed]

In response to a comment about a dancing boy who was hassled for putting ballet bumper stickers on a school locker, I wrote the following:  That's a shame!  I hope the boy got some good support from fellow dancers!

I started this thread to complain about how so many commonly shared adverts and online articles leave the boys out of the dance picture altogether.  But, sadly, I think the two phenomena (bullying and girls-only media posts) are related; the assumptions that go into the girls-only articles are some of the same ones that set boys up to be bullied for pursuing ballet.  That's why it's so important that well-meaning people avoid sharing the narrow stereotypes about ballet.

 

Edited by mln
post to which I was responding was removed
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Members, please remember that this is one of several restricted Forums.  This Forum may be read by all, but only Parents of [Ballet student] Boys are permitted to post.  Please be respectful of the Forum's demographics. 

In keeping with the participation restriction, a couple posts have been removed. 

 

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I hear ya! And it's not just those things - for example, a number of years ago, our studio at the time offered a warm-up jacket to company members only in women's sizes. And there were guys in the company! Nothing to offer except that he wore the women's jacket and we just don't worry about it! 

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