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Boys Ballet & bullying

(43 Posts)
nightsky010 Fri 30-Oct-15 00:54:04

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. School does not have a reputation for bullying.

phoolani Fri 30-Oct-15 01:13:03

I honestly don't know. If he takes it as a school club it's definitely a possibility I guess. My ds (6) takes ballet but outside school and hasn't reported any teasing but then I honestly don't know whether anybody in school knows he goes. He also goes to a boys only class, so he doesn't get any comments there either. You could always prime him with the 'it's great for core strength and balance to make him a better footballer/karate black belt/ whatever if you think it might be a problem.

nightsky010 Fri 30-Oct-15 03:26:57

That's a good point regarding priming with reasons.
Right now I can opt for a dance school, but next year the school timetable is super busy so I think the only option would be to continue at the school.

madwomanbackintheattic Fri 30-Oct-15 03:52:11

The girls in ds's ballet class told him he wasn't welcome as ballet was for girls when he was 7. He had no problem with the boys, but the girls were deeply unpleasant and were the reason he stopped going in the end. He went back to dance a few years later when they had grown up a bit, but he drew the line at ballet as the girls were so vile.

(I also have girls. That dance. This is not a rant against girls in general, just that for ds, the girls in his class were utterly mean and were the reason he stopped ballet).

Sometimes, the problem doesn't come from where you think it will.

FishWithABicycle Fri 30-Oct-15 04:20:34

My DS wanted to do ballet and did so age 5 in an out-of-school club. He was teased for it relentlessly at school and gave it up insisting he hated ballet now (obviously untrue but sadly the bullies won). He now does a street-dance class which is about 50:50 boys and girls and he doesn't get teased for that, obviously it's sufficiently masculine to be socially acceptable among under 10yos.

EugenesAxe Fri 30-Oct-15 04:28:01

madwoman - that is terrible! I'm surprised the teacher didn't come down on them like a ton of bricks for spouting such crap.

WildStallions Fri 30-Oct-15 06:16:25

My DS gave u ballet at 5 due to the girls teasing him

BUT he was an easy target and if he hadn't been teased for that he would have been teased for something else.

So I guess I think it totally depends on your son. How confident he is. Is he normally teased. How he'd handle any comments.

The cool kids are never teased.....

TeddTess Fri 30-Oct-15 09:14:50

i'm with wildstallions, kids always look for something. if it's not ballet it's because they're short, tall, wear braces, surname, family car, ethnicity, whatever. Even the seemingly cool kids, they've just learned to laugh at it/brush it off so they're no fun as a target.

PrincessHairyMclary Fri 30-Oct-15 09:17:57

I think priming with retorts to comments is good. Also going to a few ballets to show him the male dancers and how good they are might inspire him, and show him it's not just for girls.

Wolfiefan Fri 30-Oct-15 09:20:23

If he wants to do ballet I'd enrol him. Male ballet dancers are incredibly fit and strong. Bullying is vile. Vile people can always find something to bully about.

Ledkr Fri 30-Oct-15 09:25:44

My son is a ballet dancer and was only ever admired by his peers. He was a bit of a local celebrity.
As he got older he had the odd comment but he's a tough lad and would just tell them to fuck off or act super camp if they called him gay.
He is 24 now. Handsome with an amazing body. All the male dancers I know are the same.
If he loves it he will cope, as he gets older his cinfidence will increase through dance and he can fend off negativity.

Ledkr Fri 30-Oct-15 09:28:37

Id also encourage him to take other disciplines such as tap and street/jazz/acro, so the ballet isnt the focus iyswim?
Doing street and Tap is pretty acceptable nowadays.

claraschu Fri 30-Oct-15 09:34:16

My son was the only boy in his ballet class, and no one ever teased him at school. He always seemed proud to do ballet and felt cool because of it.

He was pretty cool anyway, so maybe the bullies just found another person to go for... I don't know. If your son is the kind of boy who is very worried about fitting in, he might struggle with doing something slightly unusual. Then again, if he loves ballet, maybe that love would give him more inner strength in the end.

Micah Fri 30-Oct-15 09:42:03

Show him Steven McRae.

My dd saw him dance and is now of the opinion that boys are equally amazing at ballet, and encourages all the boys in her class.

If there is anything said, I'd take it up with their teacher. It is bullying, and should be stopped. Suggest the class watch billy Elliot, or some clips of male dancers.

chrisrobin Fri 30-Oct-15 09:57:28

My DS (7) has been going to ballet and tap for 2 years, first outside school now within the school (we changed school due to relocation). He has never been teased about it by children and he often talks about the fact that he dances. Adults have been more scathing about it but my DH and I shoot them down as soon as it starts.

The headteacher in his current school (3-18 all through school) encourages the senior rugby players to take ballet lessons to improve core strength.

Iken Fri 30-Oct-15 10:00:48

Yes chrisrobin, I was about to say that about Rugby players - the best rugby players also do some ballet?

Devilishpyjamas Fri 30-Oct-15 10:00:58

Ds2 (nearly 14) started ballet last year. His friends don't know. They know he does a lot of dance & take the piss by saying 'are you off to ballet then?'. He says 'yeah that's right' sarcastically. God knows what they'd think if they knew he actually was grin

Devilishpyjamas Fri 30-Oct-15 10:06:08

Oh & ds2 loves dance because he thinks it will give him big muscles. He's been in various touring shows & seen all the adult male dancers & would rather like to be like them. He's also in a male dance company with lots of older teens/young men & so I think he sees his friends as a bit silly (the positive male dance role models around him are a bigger influence than his friends).

Dance is a great thing for boys to do & locally there are loads of boy's teen dance opportunities. If your son is worried about it he can just keep it relatively quiet.

Ds2 certainly is on the receiving end of banter about dance, but nothing that bothers him.

Devilishpyjamas Fri 30-Oct-15 10:09:07

Oh I know he's not a teen - I was thinking ahead!

ThomasBecket Fri 30-Oct-15 14:38:54

There was a boy at my primary school who did ballet in an after school class. No one took the mick out of him because he took part in a ballet class. However, they did make a little fun out of him( behind his back) at first because of the red leotard and tights he woreconfusedgrin
I think the kids and parents accepted his eccentricity!

lunar1 Fri 30-Oct-15 14:47:50

Ds1 is 7 and does ballet and tap, I saw another boy in his class tease him once, he said go on girly, show us your girly dance. Ds1 replied, ok then when I'm finished I'll show you my martial arts, other boy ran off. I was so impressed, ds1 is quiet as a mouse, I loved seeing him stick up for himself.

itsmeohlord Fri 30-Oct-15 14:52:07

Take him to the Swan Lake done with the male dancers (can't remember its name). Fabulous -

dodobookends Fri 30-Oct-15 15:50:58

red leotard and tights he wore - why on Earth was he wearing these?!!

Boys wear white/navy/black t-shirt and shorts, white socks and black or white shoes to ballet/dance normally.

ThomasBecket Fri 30-Oct-15 18:19:01

dodo, I have no idea. But he seemed really happy!

TalkinPease Fri 30-Oct-15 20:21:21

When DD was still doing ballet, there was a lad who started with tap and then took up ballet
by the time he was 16 he'd been out with all of the fittest girls in the ballet school grin

and Y Y Y Look up Adam Cooper who was the original swan in Matthew Bourne Swan lake
and also the grown up Billy Elliot in the film

or Irek Mukhamedov
or Mikhail Baryshnikov

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