“B” is for Boys in Ballet – How to Get Your Son Involved in Performing Arts

Around the age of three or four you start to wonder what activities to enroll your youngster in. There are many options all of which can provide children with great learning experiences that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, a large majority of early age activities are geared towards girls. Ballet, tap dancing, gymnastics…the list goes on.

Unfortunately society has seemed to forget the heavy male influence that is present in all of these activities. Enrolling your son in a performing arts class is a great way to ensure that he will be a well rounded, cultured man one day; however, because of the stigma a male dancer often takes on, it can be hard to keep your son evolved in this magnificent activity. Here are some great ways to help assure your son that the performing arts can be both masculine and fun.

Early Involvement – Involving boys in dance classes at an early age is the key for a long term involvement in the performing arts. Starting your son at the young age of three can be a great way to introduce dance before he is old enough to be fooled by stereotypical gender roles enforced by culturally ignorant segments of society. Raising them in a cultivating and supportive atmosphere where dance is something to be revered will help them take pride in what they do as that mature.
All Boy Classes – Call around to your local dance studios and see who offers all-boy dance classes. Most dance studios will offer all boy dance classes for at least for first few years of lessons since boys and girls mature and learn in different ways. Enrolling your son in a class that consists of all male dancers is great way to introduce other boys to your son who share the same interest and therefore will be supportive of his decision to pursue dance.
Find Strong Examples – Familiarizing your son with famous male performers is another great way to help him cope with being a male in a female driven industry. Luckily, with shows like Dancing with the Stars, and So you Think you Could Dance, there are more men in the spotlight who are participating in and taking pride in the performing arts.
Be Supportive – Your number one role as a parent of a male dancer is to be supportive. There will be times when your son is less than welcomed by school mates who don’t understand the masculine side of performing arts. It is your job to be as supportive and encouraging as possible. Unfortunately, many young boys and girls make accusations about the strength, the sexual orientation, and the legitimacy of boys in dance programs. You will need to be there when he is less than sure that his choice in activities is appropriate for boys.
Observe Classes – A great way to get your son involved in dance is to take him to a few practices or performances. Call your local dance studio and ask if you and your son can sit in on a few classes. Find out what type of classes are offered and visit a class that incorporated martial arts into dance. Your son may find it amusing to see combat moves. It’s also a good idea to sit in on classes for both young and older boys so he can form a positive image of men in dance. You can also contact your local performing arts center to find out about scheduled performances that can show your child what he will be working towards accomplishing
Find A Male Teacher – If there are multiple classes available for you to enroll your son in, try to choose one that is taught by a male dancer. A male dancer has been through the same things your son may be afraid of and therefore can act as a positive role model and a source of advice.