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The Boys of Ballet

Letoballet9thumbMicahballet5thumbMicahballet13thumb Letoballet12thumb Letoballet7thumbMicahballet15thumb Micahballet10thumbLetoballet1thumbMicahballet3thumb

A year ago, my older son Leto showed an interest in ballet.  He asked me if he could dance but I wasn’t sure how to go about getting him lessons.  I had asked some advice from my cousin who is a dance instructor, but her school didn’t teach their age level (and didn’t seem to take boys).  One of my youth girls is a ballerina and the ballet school she attends teaches boys starting at Micah’s age, so I looked into it.  My in-laws were really excited for Leto and so they offered to pay for his lessons.  There were summer classes available in which I signed Leto up for.  He had so much fun and told me after his last summer class yesterday, “Ballet is the best!”

While Micah seemed uninterested in ballet at first, once he watched his big brother’s first class, he said he wanted to join in (he was really sad that he couldn’t dance, and didn’t really know what ballet was until he watched).  Since they are nearly two years apart, they are at different levels and different classes, though some of what is taught is the same, and other things are different. My in-laws were willing to pay for his lessons as well (they are so very helpful to us in this, and I can’t thank them enough), so a few days after Leto’s first lesson, Micah gained his first and he has lots of fun and enjoys it so much too!

It seems that there is a stigma about boys who dance, especially ballet.  It is truly sad that people I know even consider ballet to be “for girls,” but that is a great falsehood.  The guys tend to shine and are very well known in the industry.  A man even runs the school in which my boys attend (and he is married to a woman, to bunk the other stigma that boys who do ballet are “gay” even though I could list dozens of straight male dancers for you who are some of the most well known dancers).  My boys each enjoy very “boyish” activities like soccer, race cars, trains, building, LEGOs, Star Wars, Transformers, video games, and more.  They are boys through and through and just truly love dancing (even King David loved to dance in the Bible).  Leto originally told me that he wanted to lift girls off of their feet and be very strong, just as the male dancers do in ballet.  He giggles and jumps a lot in his classes and gets along really well with the girls.  He was hoping more boys would be in his class, and the teacher let me know that she believes there is another boy who signed up for autumn classes in his age group!  He is really excited about that.  He doesn’t consider it girly at all and both of our boys even took a peek in to watch an older boy (maybe 12 years old) dance in another one of the studios at their school, in which they thought him to be so cool.  If you are wondering what Rob thinks of all this, he is very proud of them and loves that they enjoy ballet.

In the pictures above, you see the girls in their classes.  Each of them in the summer had different girls coming and going to the class, some which were there each week.  They sometimes were alone with one other girl and other times they had up to 7 other girls in their class with them.  The photos are from their last class, in which the parents could sit in to see up close what their children learned.  She taught them various things to a story of Sleeping Beauty (the boys loved being “the prince”.  .and no, they didn’t kiss the girls, they blew kisses with their hands).  The girls were always nice to them and they were nice to the girls.  They are very considerate of them and it is funny how some of the girls always want to sit next to them (Micah even has a favorite girl from his class who he says he always likes to be near, unless the teacher places them in other places at the beginning of class).  It is really sweet.  I think the only really hard challenge for them is stretching (at home too) so that one day they can do splits.  Micah can spread his legs out further than Leto, but they’ll get there eventually. Autumn classes, here we come!

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18 thoughts on “The Boys of Ballet

  1. I absolutely adore ballet and you’re right there are very many MALE dancers who are very straight and very successful. I’m happy you and your husband are open to letting the boys follow their hearts as far as dance goes….always guarding them from what they may see or hear. I know your heart and I know you guys will always raise them with the right perspective. Besides, later on if they decide ballet is not for them… I hear it’s great practice for football players! lol
    The pictures are great…. Leto has amazing poise for being a beginner. Keep up the good work mom…I hope to see more of their dancing! 🙂

  2. I love that they are in ballet, great photos! Have you ever seen the show Breaking Pointe? It follows a group called Ballet West and shows the men and women training for performances, the male dancers have to be very strong and I think ballet is amazing 🙂
    Amia

  3. I do miss ballet. I want to get back to it again before Rob and I have kids, but I also have pending piano lessons to take, which I got for my birthday. Have you seen the movie Billy Elliot? It is amazing. The content includes language and hints of sexuality from what I remember. Anyway, you can always look it up. Billy Elliot was laughed at by his family and friends for dancing, because it was “girly.” He was perfectly straight and manly. It is a very inspiring film. You should check it out, if you haven’t seen it!

    Rachel
    http://alamodest.com

    1. Yes. I saw Billy Elliot when we were first married and really enjoyed it, as did Rob. I remember there was a lot of language, which was unfortunate. The only “sexual” part I remember it having was that Billy’s friend was homosexual and thought Billy was for being into ballet, but found out he wasn’t. If there was anything else in it, I don’t recall it. Really great film though.

  4. It is definitely a stereotype to assume that all men who dance are gay. However, that does not negate the fact that most men who dance are in fact homosexual. It is not a negative nor does it make anyone a lesser person so I’m not quite sure why there would be a stigma around it. I would push you to think about how you would react and love and accept your sons if they did indeed come out to you as gay. I know your religious views, but just food for thought as well.

    1. Raquel, we’d never NOT love our boys. 😉
      I honestly would think that it is half and half probably though, but then again, you danced all your life so you’d know better than I, I am sure. I think I’ve only met 1 male dancer who was homosexual, while about 15+ were straight even.

  5. Love the photos Victoria! I love that your boys are into ballet! I really hate gender roles and stereotypes, I am glad that your sons are proving them wrong! Even though we have different beliefs in homosexuality, I don’t get why people assume that ballet would make someone gay/means that they are. My brothers used to wear my clothes, and play with my dolls and they are all heterosexual. Kyle works with a manager at McDonald’s who is homosexual, while Kyle is obviously not. I have straight and gay friends who I sing karaoke with. Professions and hobbies do not MAKE or MEAN that people are homosexual. Sheesh.

    Anyway, rant over. I love their little shoes! i think it is so cute when i see kids doing things that I normally see adults do, tiny ballet shoes, are too cute!

  6. Love it! It looks like they’re having so much fun! I used to be an assistant at a dance studio and it can be SO good for little boys to do stuff like that, it seems to really help direct some of that extra energy out!

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