Boys in Dance?!

So you have a son! And your son wants to take dance! You as his parent may or may not have that moment of, "Wait... why dance? Why not football or soccer or hockey?"

Throughout our years of dance training and being a dance teacher, we have seen both sides of the spectrum. We see mothers and fathers who fully support their son's decision to dance! They come in to observe his progress, they ask questions, they stay involved, they buy tickets to his shows. Then we have seen parents who make their son walk in and out of the studio by himself and he's to meet them at the car when he's finished. They pay their dance bill, but they do so with hesitation. We've seen the hesitation on those parents faces: Should I be funding this? Encouraging this?

YES! YES! YES!

Here is our proposal of why we need more boys/guys/men in dance:

Photo by:Richmond Ballet

1. Dance helps develop muscles:

Dance is a great way to start building your son's core. There are exercises that are taught at very young ages that help strengthen these muscles. What muscles are we talking about?

  • Stomach (transverse abdominals, obliques, rectus abdominals - "the 6-pack")
  • Back (erector spinae- the muscles that run up and down your back, on both sides of your spine)
  • Hips (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and Iliopsoas - hip flexors)
  • Legs (hamstrings and quadriceps)

Photo by:Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance

2. Dance helps with coordination, balance and good posture.

Starting from a young age, dance helps develop a child's sense of their bodies. For example, being able to touch your nose, right knee, left big toe, right shoulder, left pinky finger... all with your eyes closed! We, as adults, may be able to do this because we've lived in our bodies for a long time, but little ones learn to do this early on which heightens their awareness. They also learn how to shift their bodies' weight - without picking their feet up, the difference between a jump and hop, and the mental and physical process that happens during balance.

3. Dance is healthy:

From Day 1, dance is healthy. It's an aerobic experience that protects your child's heart from heart disease, and builds endurance.

4. Guys change the feel and momentum and possibilities in dance:

Guys bring a power and a force to dance, that feels different than the gifts women bring to dance. They also get to do some pretty cool lifts!

Photo by:Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance

5. Guys bring a different perspective on movement and creativity:

Dance needs as many different perspectives, movements and as much creativity as it can get. The one thing dance doesn't want to be is to be isolated to one group of people. Dance desires different voices, choices and directions.


Photo by: Josh Martin

6. Confidence: Dance builds confidence.

And yes, as a parent you may be worried that your son may get teased. But... who doesn't get teased? Give your child something they love, and something they are successful at, and something they can work for and conquer, and teasing won't matter. They'll know how to defend what they love (that's a natural instinct).

Photo by: Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance

7. Defy gravity! Give your son something bigger than himself:

Dance opens door, and creates the chance for expression (which some parents may not want their boy to "express.") But why? Expression creates the great buildings we have around us today. It creates the art we have hanging on our walls. Dance is fluid art; always changing, always challenging, always pushing for the next level. What a rush to be a part of something so huge.

8. Job opportunities:

In the dance world, there are thousands of female dancers, and only hundreds of men. The dance world is ready and willing and eagerly seeking out male instructors and performers. What parent wouldn't want to provide something to their child that will result in a marketable skill?

9. Discipline:

Dance teaches self-discipline, self-motivation and self-awareness. It teaches a child to look inside of themselves, trust their gut, push forward. It teaches a child to be mentally focused, respectful and accepting of new challenges.

Dance is one of the most trying (physically, emotionally, mentally) experiences one can have. It encourages so many lessons of strength, and pushes the mental, emotional and physical boundaries of the dancer. It prepares them for the world in a way no other activity can. It prepares them to always keep their eyes and ears open.

So YES! Allow and support your son in his choice to dance!

It will teach him to listen, feel, and progress. But mostly, it teaches him to stand firm in his training as he opens his minds to new ideas, methods and ways of the world.

Check out Bad Boys of Dance

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