Often I have parents express concerns about their boys taking ballet. They believe that ballet is a girl thing! That only girls can get true benefits, social skills and solid friendships from a ballet class. That only sissy boys take ballet.
I’m here to tell you though that nothing could be further from the truth.
One only needs to look at ballet masters like Baryshnikov to know that ballet is anything but a girl thing. Ballet dancers are athletes and are often in better physical condition than most professional sportsmen. In fact, many professional athletes take ballet to help with flexibility and overall conditioning – NFL players like Donovin Darius, Herschel Walker and Willie Gault, to name a few. Lynn Swann took ballet and yoga as training workouts to prepare for his games. Some entire college and pro football teams endorse taking ballet as a way to gain flexibility, speed and balance. Many NFL teams are adding ballet, Pilates, and yoga to their strengthening regimens. Ballet is assisting athletes in other sports as well. Michael Beasley of the NBA started taking ballet to improve his flexibility. And even Major League Baseball catcher, Mike Piazza is taking a role in the Miami Ballet. He reportedly wants to help ballet’s image with sports fans.
The benefits of ballet outweigh the stereotype of ‘men in ballet’. So when thinking of putting your son into a ballet class, especially a BFAK class, you need to look at it more from a therapeutic and beneficial point of view rather than a more stereotypical one. In the end, we are judged by the character of our being and the quality of our actions, not the often arbitrary norms and rules of society.
So if your son wants to dance but you are afraid of what people might think or say, just Google NFL and ballet. See for yourself that your son will be dancing in the company of our society’s paragons of masculinity.