boys and ballet
Posted 18 January 2003 - 09:43 PM
Posted 18 January 2003 - 10:35 PM
So keep that speech somewhere memorized, because you're going to need it in the world out there, probably, and remember that when you're here, you're among friends. We're glad you study ballet, and that you love it too. Keep working hard.
Posted 18 January 2003 - 10:40 PM
Posted 19 January 2003 - 04:47 AM
The negative comments made to boys are most painful, however, and extremely unhelpful in enlarging the population of male dancers. The taunts then become more likely to be self-fulfilling. It's better than it used to be, what with the international superstar status held by men like Nureyev and Baryshnikov, but it's still not good yet. Jim, don't let 'em grind ya down!
Posted 19 January 2003 - 03:12 PM
Posted 19 January 2003 - 03:30 PM
Posted 20 January 2003 - 01:35 AM
Posted 20 January 2003 - 04:56 AM
Posted 20 January 2003 - 06:56 AM
Sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words. This is one of my favorite pictures for boys and ballet, which you can use on your acquaintances if they give you any flak: Boys...
If you want a printed copy of the picture, it appeared twice in Dance Spirit Magazine, February 2003.
Posted 21 January 2003 - 05:01 AM
Words "ballet" and "usual" don't mix at all! So, that statement "boys and ballet don't usually mix" shouldn't even be an issue for you Everything about ballet is UNUSUAL AND VERY EXCITING!
Also, there will always be people who 'get the ballet' and those who 'don't get it'. The great news is that you are the lucky one to belong to the first group (believe me - there are always enough people to keep you a great company worthy of that of yours), and don't worry about those ignorant ones - they don't really know what they're missing!
"Dainty activity of the weak" for your gender involves quite a bit of lifting and carrying - DONE VERY GRACEFULLY - of species of my gender, who don't always resemble a swan feather So, this is another statement that doesn't make sense, and therefore must be sent to trash.
Reading through the rest of replies sent to your post, cavalier, I wish there would be Paradise-country on this earth where ballet dancers would be admired and liked by absolutely everyone - sadly, no. Not even in Russia! (I can't talk about other countries, as i'm coming from the former Soviet Union myself).
Communist government WAS abusing ballet dancers back then, sadly. It was some kind of illusion of 'privileged life' for those dancers, who were however, were kept on quite tight and quite short leash by communists and KGB (memoir-book written by the famous and worshipped Maya Plisetskaya, called "I, Maya..." is quite descpritive of ballet dancers life during communists' time of our history).
A bottome line here: In spite of all the tough and super-tough moments in-side and out-side the ballet world, there always have been and always will be plenty of great REAL boys in the ballet world to keep you a company that you'll enjoy (and some great girls, too!
Posted 23 January 2003 - 12:30 AM
We had a horrendous case here just a few weeks ago, where a talented boy was repeatedly bullied, culminating in boys from his primary school class (i.e. at most eleven years of age) riding their bicycles over his feet. The result is that he now needs an operation on his feet, which the medical experts say he can't have until he is eighteen and his bones have stopped growing. The reports indicated that he cannot dance any more.
Is being different really so threatening to other people?
Posted 23 January 2003 - 04:31 AM
In general, I was very lucky at my ballet school when I was young because we had 3 boys in my class, one of which went on to the RBS (but don't know what happened to him after that), and also William Tuckett in with the older students to watch .
I pointed out to my brother the other day when he was whingeing that his wife had put their son in for dance classes, that I thought him being in a studio with lots of pretty girls was a far better place for him to be than sat in a communal bath with a bunch of guys after a football match!
Cavalier - you keep at it, and don't let them get you down .
Posted 23 January 2003 - 02:35 PM
When the boys who are making fun of ballet now are grown, many will be in boring, tedious jobs and rapidly gaining weight.
You, however, could be a famous dancer, in great shape, and doing something that lots of pretty women consider wonderful.
Some boys who were teased for playing the piano are now very wealthy stars of the music world.
It does take some maturity to appreciate the art (and athletic challenge) of ballet, and unfortunately, many young people will not learn to appreciate the finer things until later in life. There is a very real lack of depth in many people today. But not all people.
You keep up the good work!
Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:40 PM
I can't give you advice as a dancer, because I'm not one. I can respond as the father of a teen-age daughter who is addicted to ballet and a son who enjoys sports that his friends consider unusual (archery).
I can also tell you, as a dedicated member of the ballet audience, that I can't imagine ballet without the brave MEN who follow their spirits and love of the art into the profession and who expand the joy we can feel in sharing their art.
Ballet is as demanding (more demanding?) of physical endurance, skill, and coordination than any of the so called "manly" sports: soccer, rugby, etc. American football just requires brute strength and simple coordination.
Look at any dancer, male or female, and you'll see a superb athlete, in every sense of the word. You'll also see grace, poise, balance -- benefits absent in other sports, that simply require weight training and endurance training. The benefit to your soul and spirit go without saying.
Sadly, you will be teased and bullied by other boys ... you'll have to understand that what you gain is something they may come to appreciate eventually, but don't right now ...
Just remember that you have the support of your fellow dancers, the admiration of the audience, and your own inner conviction and desire. That should be more than enough to overcome the ignorance and bias ... hold your head high ...
Posted 24 January 2003 - 04:50 PM
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