Why is there such a taboo about boys dancing?
As a male dance teacher and having grown up from a very young age dancing I have had my fair share of the bullying that comes with being the boy that dances.
When I was 3 years old I was introduced to the world of dance by my parents, who used to drop me off on a Saturday morning at Fletchers Dance studio in Worcester whilst they did the morning shopping in peace! I loved it and soon became passionate and seemed to have a natural flair for dance.
I was proud to be a dancer. Unfortunately not all my school friends agreed that it was a “cool” thing to do and I was teased daily called “gay” and “poofter” so many times if I have had a penny for every time I would be a rich man now!
But why is it seen as such a Taboo? Male dancers and boys are essential to the survival of dance. In Ballet, Musical Theatre, Modern and tap, they do all the lifts, and in Ballroom & Latin they lead and make lifts more accessible to couples. I remember as a young male competitor never being short of young ladies wanting to dance with me as there is such a short supply of boys and male dancers, even now as a qualified teacher I still get regular emails asking if I want a partner for dancing either competitively or socially (much to my wife’s annoyance). Boys and male dancers are always needed!!
Even in my own classes which I run for children and adults I am struggling for boys and men. But I have found when I ask the girls in my classes if they would like boys to join they all say yes but when they ask their friends at school they just get teased too.
I would like to think as we get older people are less cruel and a bit more mature when it comes to men and dancing but even my work colleagues and I am now 36 years old still look at me funny when they ask so what you up to tonight and I reply “oh I am teaching my dance class” and then await the onslaught of jokes and snide comments that follow. THIS ATTITUDE NEEDS TO CHANGE.
I am proud to call myself a professional Dance teacher and I will tell anyone who askes. But I propose a challenge for all those who has ever ridiculed a boy or male for dancing…don’t knock it until you have tried it! If you believe you can do better than me without my 33 years of experience and training and you can prove it then I will take all the ridiculing you can throw at me!
Until that day, rather then ridiculing boys and men that dance, let’s support our young “Fred Astaires” and let them be proud of what they are talented to do.
If any boys or men want to join my dance classes feel free to contact me through my website or you can email me by clicking here.