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My son wants to dance. What do I do? Should a boy take pointe?

My son wants to study ballet. My husband is not keen to let him learn because of the notion that ballet is for girls. I’m willing to give it a shot, but I’m hoping to get sound advice. Should a boy take pointe? If so, at what age?

Thanks
Juliet

  • For starters I think it is great that your son is intrested in ballet. Generally boys don’t take pointe but focus more on high jumps or leaps. Find a notible ballet school who has a boys ballet class (so he won’t feel like the only boy who dances) and he should take min. of 2 classes a week if he wants to see improvement: also this is one of my all time favourite quotes: If ballet was easy it would be called football…

  • Smart

    Hello Juliet
    Great to read that you want to support your son in taking ballet. Being a man myself and having run a ballet school for several years I know that your husband may have doupts in his son going to ballet. It is always difficult for most fathers to accept that their sons want to give ballet a try. Tell him that it is a try and that, even if he has resentments, it would be good if he would be supportive. I had much of the same problem, but once I was able to show results my father was one of the best supporters I had.
    There is not always the possibility in finding a ballet school with a boys class. My recommendation is that if the teacher is supportive and wants to have the boy in class then go for that and watch carefully how your son is integrated. Many times he will be the only one, tell him what a chance he has being the only male with so many girls and what his friends are all missing by not being able to attend ballet.
    Male in ballet does not mean that your son is or will become gay in any way, do not be afraid of that. If a male is gay then this has nothing to do with ballet, its something I had and have to explain over and over. This would anyhow not show early in a boys life.
    Other thing will be the acceptance of his going to ballet by other boys. I tend to recommend that as the boy is doing something really special he should keep it at first a secret to him self and the family. I have found that one can talk very open even with young boys about this and was always able to find a solution. In our school we had a 5 year old boy and he did not want to keep it a secret. His parents invited all his friends for a afternoon with video. They were watching Billy Eliot and there was a discussion after. Result: we had 3 boys in the school which gave it a try, one left soon and the other stayed over 1 year. Due to that there was no mobbing problems from his best friends.
    -> Let us know after some time how it all went and if he liked it or not. I would also be interested to read what kind of teacher you found and how he was integrated in class.
    All the best
    Smart

  • Annie

    Hello Juliet,
    please apologize my English, I´m not a native speaker.
    My son (8 years old) attends ballet lesson for about a year. His teacher finds him very talented. And I am so proud.
    I think ballet is good for boys. Let see male ballet dancer – their figures are admirable and skills perfect.
    My son is only boy in girls´ class. But it´s OK. He is in the spotlight and he likes it.
    I have to say I´m very very happy he is interested in ballet.
    Best

    Annie

  • Sally Smith

    Boys can take ballet no problem, look at this website that deals with news items of young boys in ballet like your son at:

    http://boysballet.wordpress.com/

    = = = = = = = =
    Like most dancers in ballet it takes a year or two before a dancer is strong enough for going en pointe. It is required that students must be at lease ages 10-11 to start, some start at age 9(depending on what the dance instructor says). Again ONLY after some years of training.

    As for your part of question on should a boy take pointe..Mostly pointe dancing is reserved for girls.
    Sometimes a male dancer will go on pointe, but these are reserved for parody ballet roles like the character “Bottom” in the ballet of “The Dream”..

    However there seems to be a growing movement among boy & males dancers wanting to take up pointe
    dancing and creating original materials..Seems to be a starting trend..
    See these links with pictures of boys en pointe as
    well as the subject dealing with this:

    http://www.dance.net/topic/9388424/1/Ballet-Photos-Misc/Pictures-on-Boys-Ballet-Dancers-on-Pointe-Shoes.html&replies=16

    http://www.dance.net/topic/4676286/1/Guys-in-Ballet/Do-you-think-guys-should-learn-pointe-Why-why-not.html

    http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&global=1&q=boy+en+pointe+ballet#/d3gwzls

    http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&global=1&q=boy+en+pointe+ballet#/d39i2v0

    When your son has gone thru ballet training he might if he wants to start taking up pointe. May be a new ballet star…Think about it.

  • I think it’s great that your son is doing ballet. I’ve done ballet for a few years and never had a boy in my class, So I’m not very experienced in pa de daux. If he sticks with it he will get a lot of attention from the girls so most of the guys won’t make fun of him. Boys usually don’t take pointe, but I’ve heard of them taking it if they need to strengthen their ankles. But they most likely will not perform on pointe. Tell your son that he is AWESOME for wanting to take up ballet.

  • Olivia

    It is great for boys to like ballet. There aren’t too many that appreciate ballet. Generally boys do not take pointe though, but I think ballet would be good for him.