You’ll notice that Dance Advantage avoids the pink or popsicle color palette you’ll find on many websites about dance. As an editor who accepts writing from guests, I’ve turned down or encouraged changes when the writing is female-centric, assumes, or implies that all dancers are women or girls. I’ve even spent some time here and elsewhere writing about encouraging boys in studios, highlighting the careers of male dancers, and covering class curriculum for boys. There’s a reason for this.
As a teacher and a dancer, I like to think I’ve always brought to my work an awareness and sensitivity of the challenges boys and men face in the dance world. The moment I became a mom to a young son, however, I became more keenly aware of the many “rules” that surround both boyhood and the parenting of boys (at least in American culture and society).
These rules and expectations underlie daily life. They surface in minor, seemingly inconsequential ways. Like a couple of weeks ago when a fellow mom asked my son (the only boy in his preschool dance class) if he liked the class. Following his affirmative response (well, affirmative in a 3-year old, ‘who is this adult talking to me?’ way) the mom went on to explain to him [Read more…]