It’s not often that you see a boy in a dance class, especially as the little dancers become big dancers! I’ve noticed that there’s always a couple of boys in the preschool level classes, but by the time they reach eight years old, having a boy be a part of the competitive dance team is rare.
In my previous blogs, I’ve explored the importance of making dance as universal and accessible as possible — to dancers of color, dancers with disabilities, and senior citizen dancers! Dance is for every person and every body; the art itself doesn’t discriminate. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that dancers who don’t necessarily fit a predetermined mold have to work extra hard to be recognized for their skill and accepted for their passion.
Male dancers are revered in the professional dance world; in fact, many moves and lifts wouldn’t exist without the assistance from a male dancer. Men and boys are welcomed and accepted in hip hop and other creative types of dance, but there still feels like there is a stigma around young boys in ballet.
The bottom line is that boys (and literally everyone else who is passionate about dancing) need access and encouragement to dance. If you’re a child and are told that dance isn’t for you just because of the body you were born into, that would be a tremendous loss to the dance world and to that child’s spirit.
Just like we encourage our girls to go for whatever sport, activity, academic class, and career that they want to achieve, we need to do the same for our boys. Parents need to accept and include boys in their daughter’s ballet class, and treat them as they would any other member of the competition team. They may not wear the frilly costumes and wear mascara, but they are just as beautiful as the ones who do. The goal is one unified, hard-working, exceptional dance team — not one that is divided among girls and boys.
I’m so inspired by a few Instagram famous boy dancers. Check out BossBabyBrody, a delightful four-year-old boy dancer with more than 300,000 followers! This little dancer delights me with his moves, his infectious spirit, his fabulous outfits, and wonderfully supportive parents. For even more inspiration, check out the Instagram hashtag #BoysDanceToo and get inspired by the beautiful images and stories of incredibly talented boy dancers from all around the world.
Boys bring beauty, strength, and elegance to the world of dance — just like girls do. It is refreshing to see the world-at-large begin to accept boy dancers as the norm rather than an anomaly. There is plenty of room in the dance world for incredible talent and showmanship; let’s be sure to support the boys in our dance teams to shine just as bright as our girls!