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SOUSA KID

Why are guys considered ''sissy's if they dance ballet?

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Pamela,

The Global village is likely to draw people from wherever to the best place to study and dance.

The real question is whether folkloric dance cultures can "stand up" and support a ballet culture. From your post and my own ignorance I do not know about Spanish Ballet for example. But I don't doubt that there are remarkable Spanish dancers.... I have seen them at the ABT.

Could you clarify your comment about ballet in Spain (for this idiot)?

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Bollywood actors do many things that most American men would clasify as "sissy", they dance, cry, hug each other and so on. In India it's completely normal for heterosexual men to hold hands or walk with their arms around each other. I remember my first time in Pune walking around with my husband in the neighborhood he grew up in. All the boys and men walking together were holding hands. I asked my husband if this was the gay part of town. :clapping: He explained that's how they show affection for each other.

I remember a similar experience during a tourism trip in Egypt when I was a teen-ager, it was quite surprising for me to see for example some male soldiers walking with their arms around each other...

And a French member of our group of tourists told us that it was the same when he was a kid living in North Africa (it was back in the colonisation period, I think it was in Algeria) and that it caused quite a lot of misunderstandings when he moved to France a few years later...

Alexandra, how are male ballet dancers and ballet students considered in Denmark ? I'd also be curious about the attitude towards male ballet dancers in some other countries which produced many talented male dancers, like Cuba or Russia for example.

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The girls will start and then the boys will follow.

I can guess from my own experience and background (my father was a Pashto Afghan)that in Persian countries such as Iran and Afghanistan, it will be the opposite. The boys will start and the girls will follow. I have heard that in the 50s when they were trying to establish a national ballet school and company in Iran, on the day of the audition only few girls and thousands of boys turned up . They ended up having a ballet school full of boys and very few girls.

I think even if a country has the soil in which ballet can grow and prosper, it needs a good classical company and the best of the best ballet teachers to become a ballet nation. Such teachers are rarities even in ballet nations. So it is not that easy to turn a country in to a ballet nation. Cuba is a good example of a country that did well.

I do not think that Spain can be called a ballet nation yet. I know that there are quite a few spanish dancers about but the only one who is truly an accomplished classical ballet dancer is Jose Martinez( my apologies to the fans of Tamara Rojo , Angel Corella , I am only being objective) and he received his ballet education in France.

But if we take the subject back to the original poster s question why men are considered sissys if they dance ballet? I think we can divide the reasons that caused or keep causing this stigma and prejudice against ballet in to two categories.

1. Historical facts surrounding ballet such as the decline of male dancing in the 19th century, prostitutionlike role of some dancers in the 19th century, Diaghilev- Nijinsky relationship etc...

2. Fixed ideas about masculinity and femininity which are completely different from one society to another and of which some people can not free themselves .

In either case it is not ballet itself or the nature of it that is the problem. The problem is in people s(who have the prejudice) head rather than ballet itself. We have a choice to be a victim of it or to be free of it.

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Not to sound weird guys, but as a ''straight'' guy, I find it rewarding to appear as a bit ''sissyish'' at my ballet class. I'm the only guy in my class and the other evening as I was doing my plies at the bare, a mother gazed at me through the studio window. She smiled at me as though she was saying ''Go get em Champ!'' And I felt a bit ''sissyish'' but then I felt kinda proud of myself. I felt special. I've got the confidence to dare dance Classical Ballet in the suburbs as a guy. So whats so wrong with being a bit of a ''sissy''? Billy

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