Enter any dance studio in the United States and the classes will be brimming with little bunheads dreaming of crossing the stage at Lincoln Center. But you will be hard pressed to find a single boy among them. DANSEUR we will explore why in a country that strives for gender equality, where young women are encouraged to cross the gender barrier and participate in male-dominated fields, especially by their parents, does this disparity exist? Why is it more socially acceptable for parents (fathers in particular) to encourage their sons to participate in all other physical pursuits (ie: sports, fitness) but not the ballet? A recent survey revealed that nearly 95% of male ballet dancers stated that they faced physical or verbal attacks because of dance.
Our hope is that by sharing the struggles of these young men, we can shed light on the difficult subjects of bullying, homophobia while illustrating the vitality of ballet, through performance, creation, preservation and education.
Behind the scenes
As a young male dancer, I was constantly harassed and judged for studying Ballet. Most people thought I was gay and different but it let me realize who my real friends were. My training and my experiences taught me how to deal with opposition, oppression, and ignorance of other people. Many people aren’t aware of the strength that all dancers need, especially menCameron Auble-Branigan
…the boys will put their hands in a lazy fifth position and they will be pretending to dance on their tip toes and in circles saying ballet is only for girls and this is how you dance. Boys shouldn’t dance ballet Marquez. I know that ballet isn’t only for boys because I see lots of grown up guys dancing and my teacher at PNB used to be a famMarquez Perry
They would shove me and say things like “What are you gay? Do you wear a tutu?”Philip Perez
When I was in Junior High, 6th or 7th grade, I was bullied a lot for being a male dancer. Because in the town I live in if you were a dancer and a guy, you were automatically gay.Alexander Roy