A while back I did a post entitled Encouraging Boys to Dance. It had a good response and I was even asked to submit an edited version for the PTA (National Parent Teacher Association) website. It is my firm belief that boys should be encouraged to dance by dance teachers and parents in particular. After all, there are many who would discourage them – we should be making it an easier choice for young guys who may have an interest in the art form. Sadly, many dance schools seem completely geared toward females (maybe without even realizing it), effectively turning young men away. Dancers thrive in an environment where they feel comfortable to be themselves and safe from judgment or abuse. Therefore, dance schools and parents must make an effort to provide this environment for boys in dance.
Check it out!
I recently came upon two blogs which are the primary purpose of this post. They are excellent resources for male dancers and their parents. The first is My Son Can Dance, a chronicle of one dance mom’s experiences with raising a boy who dances. Teachers, dance moms, and male dancers should definitely take note of this site! The second is Boys and Ballet, essentially a collection of news articles from around the globe that feature boys or men in the dance world (specifically ballet but other genres are occasionally featured) – an excellent resource that can act as a source of encouragement for young men involved in dance.
While we’re on the subject…
Here are some other links:
- Teacher lesson plan that reinforces the idea that dance is a beneficial activity for men and women.
- Bad Boys of Dance – a company of male dancers who tour… field trip!!
- River’s Edge Dancewear – large selection of men’s dancewear.
- All About Dance men’s dancewear selection
- The Ailey School’s program for boys.
- The Men in Dance festival in Seattle
- A clearly written article on boys in dance in an educational setting (pdf).
- Inspiring Boys through Dance – interesting education project (UK) which provides insight applicable to other settings.
- Helping Boys Make the Leap to Ballet – from the Washington Post, a good reminder that boys in dance can enjoy both dance and sports.
- Born to Be Wild – The Leading Men of American Ballet Theatre
- Billy Elliot: an enjoyable movie (note: it is rated R for language)
- The Jacob’s Pillow gallery of Ted Shawn’s The Men Dancers (prints available for purchase)
- An excellent example of grace and masculinity –
Children’s Books (great for your studio waiting room or home library)
- Jose! Born to Dance: The Story of Jose Limon
- Alvin Ailey
- The Only Boy in Ballet Class
- Ballerino Nate
- Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer
- …and more children’s books!
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Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.