Boys Ballet & Bullying(8 Posts)
Can anyone tell me if it's still common nowadays for a young boy (eg. 7 years old) to get bullied / get the piss taken for learning ballet? I'm considering enrolling him but am not sure due to this issue. School is Co-Ed and he'd be the only boy taking Ballet.
Are the classes actually in his school? The girls tend to enjoy having boys in the dance class. The other boys can sometimes be a bit scathing, until they find out just how fit and strong the dancing boys are, and how much it helps them with things like PE and football!
There is a dedicated forum for ballet dancers and their parents called balletcoforum.com and it would be worth you asking on there in the 'Doing Dance' section, as many of the posters have dancing boys and will be able to advise you. There are also dance teachers on there who will be able to help as well.
My boys age 6 & nearly 8 do Ballet, modern tap and jazz.
It all started with DS2 who really wanted to go so he started earlier this year. There was already 2 boys in the school attending ballet.
DS1 teased him mercilessly.
A few months later DS2 was in a show with his dance school. DS1 was in total awe. Immediately after the show he said to me "Mummy I want to start dancing straight away and give up football!"
DS1 is now evangelical about his dancing. We can't even go to the supermarket without him chanting step turn step ball change and dancing around in front of the trolley.
There hasn't been any teasing at school.
I think it helps the that there are a number of other boys at dancing and indeed the school is jointly run by a husband and wife team who are both professional dancers.
Just in case I have given the boys the line to give out that Rio Ferdinand used to be in The Royal Ballet.
Actually the dancing has been awesome for them generally. If your son wants to do it don't let fear of bullying hold you back.
Thanks for the tip about the ballet forum.
For the next two terms DS could do ballet either in or out of school, but next academic year the school day is a lot longer, so DS would only really have time to do the club in school which is held in the sports hall with a teacher who runs many dance classes at the school.
Interesting that the girls you've heard about enjoy having a boy in the class. I was actually worried about the bullying coming from them!
DS is Aspergers so is an easy target, which does make me nervous! Unfortunately our school is not very dance orientated. More of a football / rugby sort of school.
Do either of you think it might be OK to email the teacher for her input on how she has dealt with it in the past? Or even ask the class teacher? Or is that silly?
Yes, maybe speak to the teacher who takes the dance classes, I'm sure they will be pleased to have a boy who is interested.
My ds is 10. He hasn't experienced any teasing at school or within his dance school. One of the other boys in his dance class apparently gets teased quite a lot at school, interestingly it's mainly from the girls.
Talk to the teacher definitely. We have just had this very problem with gymnastics where DS is one of 2 boys in his lesson time (there are others above and below) and 1 of the little girls has been repeatedly vile to him - name calling, poking etc. The trick has been to get the coach on board so they are aware it may be more than just high spirits (which to be fair is all it often looks like, although the sly looks give her away!). Now she knows we are onto her, she has calmed down a lot. But if your DS wants to do ballet, then he will and kids are astonishing in their resilience and determination ... Personally I would give up faced by the opposition DS has experienced, but then I am a lightweight!
My boys did ballet at school, as did some others, but the boys all gave up around age 7. A bit of questioning revealed that it was nothing to do with 'boys don't do ballet' and everything to do with the fact that they had to get changed for ballet during their lunch break and resented missing out on playing. For some reason the girls didn't seem to mind that - or at least enough of them didn't to keep some in the class.
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