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boys in ballet - integration or separation in class?

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Hi everyone!

I am currently in my third year of a Ballet Education degree and for my dissertation I have decided to look into approaches to teaching boys, and whether they should have classes with girls or on their own. I would like to know anyone's views on this topic, not for me to use as critical views in my dissertation, but just to start up a discussion to throw some ideas around. As a ballet teacher myself, I often find myself struggling with boys in class when they get to around the age of 12+ - the typical age the rest of their friends either discover their hobby or decide to air negative views on those who do dance. I feel that young boys should have classes with girls to develop their social awareness, and to encourage them to explore movement the same way girls do, and vice versa so the girls can learn things from the boys. However once they get older, I start to wonder whether boys should have several lessons - one on their own to boost male morale, to show the boys they are not dancing on their own, and more importantly to learn the steps necessary for the important male roles. Another lesson which needs to considered is the pas de deux class - of course both genders need to be present here. Nevertheless, with the growing experimental choreography that is so often seen today, it is not uncommon to see girls performing traditionally male steps on stage, and of course vice versa taking into account the monte carlo boys on pointe!! So do we conform to traditionalist views and keep boys separated once they get to a certain age, giving them a certain status, thus not allowing them to continue learning 'girls' steps, or do we develop our methods to keep up with the further developments in choreography? I would appreciate anyone's views on this topic - no matter how big or small!


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Welcome to Ballet Talk, Siobhan.

Ballet Talk is a discussion board from the point of view of the audience. Our sister board, Ballet Talk for Dancers is where students, teachers parents, nutritionists, costumers -- i.e. the doers -- discuss issues pertinent to training, such as the great question you've asked. You may find views on this topic already posted there.

You'll need to register separately for BT4D, but the process is similar.

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