Dance is not often considered as an athletic activity option for boys and men. Even when there are so many different kinds of dance techniques to choose from: ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap dance, and contemporary, to hip hop. Boys can thrive in all of these dance techniques.
At some stage in our society’s development, stigma and stereotyping crept in and while we have come a long way in breaking down those insensitive attitudes, they are still around us, and often times they’re deep with in our families and cultures. Unfortunately, because of this, many young men who are passionate dancers become embarassed and stop dancing Sometimes, it only takes one insensitive and harmful remark to make a young person conform to old stereotypes, and narrow conceptions of masculinity. However, the athleticism of dancers equals, and often surpasses, sportspeople, but there is little recognition of this. There are wonderful stories of ballet instructors who studied at Broadway that have taken professional football players and broken them with dance. Some players have even been quoted saying, “Ballet is harder than anything else I do.” (Steve McLendon). Thankfully, todays “woke” culture is changing things with programs like Touchdowns & Tutus. Providance PAC dance studio is on board with driving change in attitudes and perceptions in our communities and society and has an exceptionally wonderful dance training education system for both boys and girls of all ages. Dance improves physical fitness, flexibility, balance, and coordination while boosting confidence, encouraging self-expression, nurtures motivation, and enhances focus and concentration. It’s no wonder that dance is a favorite second sport of many NFL players. Parents today are always searching for ways to help kids with focus and concentration, why not dance? Especially when it has so many benefits as we have mentioned in previous blogs.
Boys and men who dance
Dance allows us to learn to fully experience our emotions without letting them dominate us. Instead of suppressing our feelings or expressing emotions that we do not fully understand, we can learn to accept our emotions and then take steps to reframe those emotions in a way that allows us to express them genuinely and productively. Dance can be this vehicle of expression. Forbes Magazine says women outnumber men in dance 20-to-1 in ballet classes. Unfortunately, many men endure a lifetime of suppressed emotional depression because of learned social rules of masculinity since birth. Psychology Today reports that “by age two, boys are typically less verbally expressive compared to girls. Perhaps due to socialization, boy's are less facially expressive by the age of four, compared with same-aged girls.” The expectations that society has demanded of men for generations has caused a deeply rooted, hard to catch and balance issue because society is so conditioned to it. Research shows that expressing emotions is more difficult for men, and understandably so. There is a term for the inability to recognize one’s own emotions and it’s called: Alexithymia; meaning “without words for emotions.” To quote Focus for Health magazine: “We owe it to our boys, who become our men, who put out into the world everything the world has put into them. We owe it to our daughters, who become women, who do the same as well as receive what our men have to offer, and most of all, we owe it to ourselves, as a society.” As a local dance studio in Royse City, Providance PAC is placed in a prime position to have a hand in helping to deconstruct archaic masculinity views with classes like Little Hip Hoppers for boys and mixed gender classes like contemporary dance.
Boys dance classes at Providance PAC
While Providance Performing Arts Center starts with quality teaching and coaching for its dancers, it also focuses on a sensitive approach to gender to keep its athletes and artists feeling validated and considered. The dance studio is very aware of the unbalanced number of boys to girls through out the dance industry and is actively seeking to find more boys and young men to join the classes just for boys as well as the mixed gender dance classes for both girls and boys. It is the hope of Providance PAC that boys and men, too, would find dance education a suitable option for them.