The big issue; Men in ballet.
So, here comes that post.. The one on men in ballet, and the obstacles we have to face (other than that goddamned technique..). To my joy, I found quite a few other bloggers writing on just this cause, and rather to repeat them, I’ll guide you to them. But first, a story.
Young boys in ballet class
Once, there was a boy. He was like all other boys, I guess, unable to sit still for very long, constantly looking for somewhere to get out all that energy. This boy played football with his friends, climbed trees (and fell down), went skiing and danced ballet.
Ballet, you said? Weird kid, right? One of those who grows up to be a sassy guy that wears tights and stays with the girls, right?
Boys that do ballet meets prejudgement from early on. From other kids, from adults, even sometimes from their own parents. Ballet? What kind of work is that?
Well, it’s a shame. For so many reasons! Can you imagine someone telling Brad Pitt not to take acting classes, or Obama that black people shouldn’t go to college? And can you imagine if they would listen to them? Well, ballet loses a lot of talent to prejudgement. Boys that wants to do ballet are being met by a wall of ignorance, and they have to fight it a long time.
But let’s get back to the boy in our story – me. I had a hard time the first years of school. Kids can be cruel! And it doesn’t help when the teachers, if not supporting the bullies, at least understands why they act like they do. Luckily for me, I had parents that supported me 100%. I had the will to do ballet, no matter what, and I had ballet masters that saw my problems, and gave me role-models and idols to compete with the picture the other kids drew of a male dancer. But not everyone has that.
Yes, it is different. We are different. We do pirouettes, wear dancebelts and care about how our feet looks like in the mirror. But does it mean that you have the right to judge us? To generalize? The people teaching kids that ballet is for girls and male dancers are weird, feminine and has strange sexual preferences, how much do they really know about us?
If I can achieve anything by this blog, I hope it will be to enlighten you, dear readers, on the whole world of ballet. It’s about time we come out from our studios, our stages, and show ourselves to the world. If people would know more about ballet, they would think differently on us doing it as well. Particularly the men.
I strongly advise you to read the following posts. This time, not only if you’re interested. Just read them. For all the boys out there, that want to do something a little different from the others! Let’s not kill their dreams before they get a chance to fulfill them!
What we’re aiming for. On the pic: Carlos Acosta
Can boys dance? at Balletformen.com
Challenging gender stereotypes in ballet, written by Catherine at 4dancers, at another interesting blog, my son can dance.
Also check out this article written by the famous dancer Sascha Radetsky for Newsweek.com