CriticalDance Forum

Dancing Men (& Boys)
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Case closed!!!!!!!!!
Well - not quite. I agree with all your points lefty reagarding the reality of the power and athleticism of male dancers. But part of what we are dealing with here is the general public's perception of the image of the male dancer. And I submit that that would be very different from the reality and accord with citybob's analysis.

Author:  trabhtor [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)


I would love to see some material on these studies. Do you have a source?

Author:  leftyvaldes [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Mr. Sweeny. It just saddens me, because that perception is a generalized idea, that does not really does no one any good. As a counterpoint, how many armed forces personel, police,& firefighters have died in the line of duty in human history, who happened to be gay??????????? No one ever talks about that, it seems!!!!! :(

Author:  trabhtor [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

I think another contribution to the publics perception of male dancers being gay are gay male dancers. I have known a ton, and I am sure you all have known a ton. Some, not all, strut a flamboyant sort of prideful "in your face" homosexuality, completely on the other side of the scale of say machismo. I am not judging this, but when the public is exposed to this, not only in choreography, but in everyday life on the street, that is the impression that remains. Its all of those highly affected characteristics like effeminate movements, lisping, language, etc... That I believe not only takes a lot of work to do, but gets the desired result: Attention and Impression. Again, I am not saying that all gay dancers are like this, but I know more than the majority is.

Author:  leftyvaldes [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Dear Trabtor. I am sorry, right now I can't come
up with anything. But last year (2003) there was an article in the Science Section of the N.Y. Times, which is published on Tuesdays. I will try to do some research and let you know. It was a short article. From what I remember, this was suppose to have been quite a project.

<small>[ 25 January 2004, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: leftyvaldes ]</small>

Author:  leftyvaldes [ Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Dear Trabtor, I understand what you are saying. I work in a performing arts place. I have gotten past that homophobic phase. I can rememember almost 30 years ago asking my father how he could
let me work at a place with "so many faggots" :confused: Thankfully, I am at least a bit wiser. And I realise that alot of people are not even up to my level of understanding about this HUMAN CONDITION TYPE.

Author:  balletboy [ Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

yes at first when my brother found out i was doing balllet.he acted like it was just for girls and would even tell me that.but know i think hes becoming more open-minded and dosent bug me about it.their are lotsw of reasons the public thinks of male ballets as gay1.because its thought of as feminen and is thought of as a womens/girl acticvity'men in the arts are incouraged to do quitar ect.2.the clothes we wear tights.tights are thought of as girly and not manly.asome people might not do ballet just because they have to wear tights and feeel its womens clothes IM NOT DRESSING UP LIKE A GIRL is a common attitude but its also true that men might not want to wear tights because their very exposing and shows the mens manhood'buttocks ect.i know as a man im unconferable with wearing them but my studio is very laid back and they didnt ask me to wear tights.theirt are alots of reasons.

Author:  balletboy [ Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

question for male ballet dancers .the first time you had to wear tights (if you had to yet).where you nerovous'scared'embassed ect.i know if i had to wear tights i would be very nerous i dont like to expose my endownment like that.i just like to keep that stuff private.but yes i know theirs reasons for the tights.1.proper you dont injuire yourself.3.fredom of movement and to show off your body during preformance(the part i dislike).that is if i ever have to wear tights whinch i havent yet.

<small>[ 05 February 2004, 10:28 PM: Message edited by: okgo ]</small>

Author:  trabhtor [ Fri Feb 06, 2004 3:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

I am sure we were all nervous. Its not just to show off ones body, but to enhance line. Even after years of wearing tights though, I love a ballet with pants! Or even pajamas! I love the flow and warmth. To me, they make me feel masculine, mysterious, classy, etc.. . I'd take a pair of pants over some white tights any day.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

I've consolidated two topics:

David in DC posted 08 February 2004 10:45 AM
I really think that nobody here has the real answer on why boys don't get into ballet. It's really the system that raises our boys and young men.

I blame the FEMALE sex as the root cause of the problem.

It is important to remember that the Billy Elliot story is fiction, and far from what really happens to young men who may show a interest in ballet. First of all, the young actor who played the character in the movie, had a very supportive mother who encouraged and supported her son in taking tap clases. That's something very unusual in the real world. Likewise, it would be very unusual for a female dance instructor to take the effort and energy to work with a young man who wanders into a ballet class as was depicted in the movie.

A lot of this insight comes from my own experience growing up. I was fascinated by ballet as a kid, but our family was so stiff and repressed, that it never was more then a repressed dream. My own mother was as negative and unsupportive as my father. In her view, boys had to be 'practical' and find jobs and become fathers and providers. So I watched as my sisters got music lessons paid for, and gymnastics and stuff, and MY artistic side was ignored and discouraged.

Even if a young man is strong enough to go against his own family and try to take ballet class, he runs into the second obstacle---the local ballet schools. These suburban schools are almost exclusively dominated at the entry level by adult women who are emotionally and intellectually unable to relate to young men. It becomes doubly difficult for a young man to express himself in this strict, emotionally repressed female dominated environment.

This stigmizing of boy's energy is society wide. Male energy and creativity is attacked by a repressive bureacratic school system that rewards girls for 'sitting still' and 'being quiet', while it increasing diagnosises boys as "hyperactive' and tranquilizes them to behave like girls.

In light of the situation, it's not too amazing why ballet has so many gay effeminate males getting involved. It is the rare male who can get through the system.

If DANCE is going to improve and reach new artistic levels, it is going to have to attract a larger group of young men into the fold besides a handful of gay effeminate boys and their mothers.


Author:  balletboy [ Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Stuart Sweeney:
[QB]I've consolidated two topics:

David in DC posted 08 February 2004 10:45 AM
tranquilizes them to behave like girls.

what do you mean by this?i take ballet and if i dont want to act like a girl im not.are you saying they (the instructor )is nicer to you if you act like a lady.

Author:  trabhtor [ Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

No dude, thats not what he's saying. Give it another read.

Author:  MacDancer [ Wed Feb 18, 2004 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Well, in reply to okgo's question about tights, I wasn't embarrassed, I didn't even really think about it... though I was a bit embarrassed when I realized that wearing boxer shorts under the tights was making them crease, wrinkle, and set weird. Mainly though, since I started in a class that was comprised entirely of middle-aged women (including the teacher), except for my fellow ballerinos (that's a male ballet dancer, for anyone who doesn't know. I guess I might not have to explain that here though...), I was more concerned about learning the steps. The most concerned I get about the tights thing is whether my jock-strap (I use a jock-strap instead of a dance belt because I haven't bothered to figure out the sizing and everything. It's probably quite simple, but there's not like the things are returnable, and it's really no difference, other than color) is making visible lines under my tights. All in all, I really don't mind the tights, except for the white undertights: I wear "cool" pants over my tights, and they're generally baggy enough to cover the tops of my shoes, but when I'm biking to class or when I'm wearing my favorite pair of the things, which are slightly torn around the cuffs, I tend to wonder what people think about "socks" that go past my middle-shin.

I guess this reply is a little late, but I just discovered these forums tonight, so... I just thought I'd weigh in on the off-chance that anyone cared. :D

Author:  Azlan [ Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

Welcome, MacDancer!

If others agree, we should probably consolidate this discussion with the one in the Students Questions forum.

<small>[ 18 February 2004, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>

Author:  balletboy [ Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dancing Men (& Boys)

i mean more nerous then embassed.

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