January 25, 2017
In the studio’s twelve years, we’ve probably had over 200 males pass through our doors into a dance class. Our Daddy Dance in the June performance has surpassed having 40 gentlemen onstage with their young dancers. Our “Bring Your Brother” shag & salsa lessons hosted over a dozen brothers learning alongside their sister. And, this month, the inception class of our “BAD Co” class (Boys at DanceCarolina) featured 13 male dancers, age 2-8!
We currently have 9 male registrants… so where are all those other fellows who want to dance? I think two things are holding them back. The first is that they are a minority at the dance studio. Most classes are primarily female, yes, but all classes are open to males if they have the guts to be a diamond in the rough! Girls LOVE dancing with boys – the boys in our classes are always the center of attention, and this builds their self-esteem rapidly! When a male walks into a dance room with predominantly girls, it can be daunting; it is our job to remind our dance family, our young female dancers, and our staff to be sincerely welcoming and patient with ALL new registrants, including and especially our boys and their parents. After all, a boy onstage almost always steals the show!
Second, the boys in our society are sadly still facing a stigma about boys in dance. Dance isn’t all pointe shoes and tights and tutus – there are MANY successful male dancers in the world, in every style! Hip-hop, tap, and acrobatics (and so many more) can be inherently masculine styles, and every musical theater performance has need for strong male leads. Hearing from peers, from friends at school, or (GASP!) even from a parent or role model that “dance is for girls” is harmful enough to a young man’s esteem to make him steer clear, even if he is intrigued, excited, or even prodigally talented in dance.
BUT!!! Dance IS in fact, for BOYS! The athleticism that dance provides has been touted by NFL & NCAA football teams. A local pediatrician encouraged an ENTIRE basketball team to take our “Flexibility for Athletes” class, to minimize injury through their adolescent growth. The gymnastic ability that dance teaches is consistent with CrossFit, baseball, and wrestling training (among so many more). And because the demand for male dancers is higher than the number of trained dancers, there are COUNTLESS opportunities offered to men & boys in this field. So the real question is, “Why WOULDN’T a boy be dancing???”
With our new dedicated boys’ class; (BAD Co, Wed 3:45-4:30); a Tumble Tots, KinderRocks, Musical Theater & Hip-Hop class that has male and female registrants; and a SLEW of other classes that boys are welcome to explore, why not encourage your little fellow to stand out from the crowd, be brave, and try something new? Something that many boys don’t do, but that some REALLY REALLY cool ones do! Give it a try – you won’t regret it if you do, but you might regret it if you don’t…
Yours in dance,