Male Students and Ballet

For the most part, there is a misconception that ballet is a female activity and profession.

male ballet dancerThe younger boys are introduced to ballet, the easier it is for them to enjoy and appreciate it without prejudices. Today, I had the opportunity to share what is ballet with several school age boys. My initial question to them was whether they thought ballet was fun or boring. I posed the same question to different age groups and for the most part the answer was that ballet was not interesting, or fun. I showed them a video I had put together of female and male ballet dancers, not only training, but also performing. As the video was going on, I was very observant of their facial expressions (the age groups I showed the video to varied from 6 through 10 years old). They showed amazement at seeing male dancers perform high leaps with legs beats, all sorts of turns on their feet and in the air. They probably couldn’t think the human body was able to perform such incredible wonders with such control.

The groups were conformed of boys and girls, but the ones with more questions to ask were the boys. One even asked me if there was some type of selection prior to admission to the study and practice of ballet. As I walked around I could see them moving in their seats as if they were the ones performing those steps.

After I finished, I posed the same question if they though ballet was boring. Most of them had changed their minds claiming that in reality they did not know what ballet was about. We brought up the fact that professional basketball players have had ballet training to improve their performance in their sport games. We had the same discussion about football players who had had ballet training to improve their flexibility, a training which had an effective and positive impact on their game performance.

We live in a society of people who lack opportunities for being active and healthy. Children spend several hours without meaningful physical activity having the risk of acquiring several related health problems. Classical ballet offers not only physical enhancement, but most importantly emotional and spiritual support for life. I realized there is a lot to be done at least here in Miami by the different Miami ballet schools in regards to the diffusion of classical ballet for boys.

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