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Dance in the community
Transcript of Dance in the community
By Venetia Olson
Boys Breaking Ballet Stereotypes
This article discusses the rising percentage of male ballet dancers.This year marked the first time in the 54-year history of Canada’s National Ballet School that they’ve had such a high percentage of enrollment of boys.
This year, Canada’s National Ballet School has a record breaking amount of boys in its Grade 6 class: 65%! The class consists of 6 girls and 11 boys.
The school also has the largest enrollment of boys in its 54-year history, with 59 boys in Grades 6 to 12. Which is 41 %!
By comparison, when the Toronto school opened in 1959, all 27 full-time students were female. There were also 202 after-school students, of which only nine were boys. Over the last 20 years, the percentage of full-time boys has fluctuated between 23 and 34%.
What The Boys Say About This
• One of the dancers in the NBS's grade 6 class is Cole Sweet. At the age of 8, his parents pushed him to try dance lessons, he was not to keen with that idea. However once he started taking hip-hop and acrobatic classes at the Oakville dance studio, he was hooked. A year later, Cole started ballet — it turned out to be “pretty fun” — and he hasn’t stopped since.
• “When people think of ballet they think of, like, girls and pink tutus,” says Cole, now at age 11. “They don’t really think of the importance of male dancers because we have to lift the girls. . . . It’s pretty intense.”
In the past there have been other spikes of male ballet dancers which have all had a reason such as when Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov became internationally famous in the 1970s, after the 2000 film Billy Elliot was released and also its 2011 stage adaptation in Toronto.
The recent spike may be influenced by the popularity of dance shows such as "So You Think You Can Dance" or "Dancing with the starts" since they feature male dancers which leads to a greater social acceptance of male dancers.
Boys are starting to realize that ballet, with all it's jumping and turning, is intensely athletic and will give them an extremely strong body, which appeals to many young boys.
Also the Ontario’s public school curriculum now says that dance is required from kindergarten to grade 8 which is giving younger boys the opportunity to realize that dance is there passion.
The phenomenon isn’t confined to NBS. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, dance was the 10th most popular “sport” for boys aged 5 to 14 in 2012, with participation rates rising in recent years.
In the United Kingdom, an August survey of 1,000 children aged 2 to 12, done by retailer Mothercare and charity Save the Children, found more boys (8%) than girls (5%) wanted to become a dancer.
As more people realize the athleticism and physical demands in ballet, those stereotypes will dissapear.
Many hockey and football players do ballet to help with dexterity and co-ordination. In July, Steve McLendon, a 320-pound defenceman for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he does ballet. He even admitted that “It’s harder than anything else I do.”
This summer, the Rolling Stones’ star, Mick Jagger, told Q Magazine that ballet helps keep him in shape even at age 70 as a retired rockstar, he chooses to do ballet.
Also One direction star, Harry Styles, took a ballet class with Mick Jagger.
Ballet is what makes you beau-ti-ful
Do you think that male ballet dancers should be as noticed and recognized as the female dancers or should they be there only to provide assistance to the girl and lift her up?
This affects our community because we may see a change in the number of males participating in dance activities.
This may give us more opportunities such as male/female partner work.
May change the way others in our community think of dancers.
May cause people to start believing that dance IS A SPORT! They would then treat dancers equally to other athletes (ex. dancers would be automatically invited to the athletic banquet)
Bolton dance studio receives top honour
My second news article is about Joanne Chapman's School of Dance in Bolton, Ontario which was named studio of the year of 2013 at the Dance Awards. Melissa and Frank Giorgio own and teach at the studio and have put a lot of hard work and dedication into creating a studio that deserves studio of the year. They have achieved something extremely extraordinary especially since "The awards show is the Oscars of dance awards" claims Melissa. Their studio impacts the community because it gives the youth of the community the opportunity to learn and master the art of dance. Signing up for a couple lessons with the "Studio of the Year" may lead to a realization of a pation to dance! They have brightened up many children and teens lives by providing them with a comfortable learning space and a community of kind dancers and teachers who can help them grow and succeed as a dancer. Their studio helps to promote dance in the community and gives the community the opportunity for dance to change their lives.