Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: D-Banana on January 18, 2013, 07:19:56 PM

Title: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: D-Banana on January 18, 2013, 07:19:56 PM
'Ello!

Oh my gosh, it's has been a while in here (thankfully). For those who remember, I have a son, Little J, who is now between 3 and 4. Little J is doing wonderfully and we've been looking at starting him on a few organized activities. One of those activities is ballet.

Almost next door to my work is a ballet school. It looks well run, I've heard good things, and I like the discussions I had with the instructors. The teacher in charge of the small children seems lovely and I think Little J would really enjoy it. We've been offered several free class sessions to get him introduced and we're looking forward to trying it out. The problem comes from the comments, which are starting. A boy in ballet? Mmmhmm....

Normally I'd just ignore it, I've gotten comments from coworkers when I said I was looking into it, but now I've got people like my boss commenting. Specifically that in his day a boy joining ballet would mean ((significant look)) the boy was 'you know'. I went with the 'Hmm isn't that nice sure is cold out today' but I strongly suspect that as the news gets around people (older family) are going to voice similar opinions.

So it comes down to being prepared and -

Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

OR

Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: wonderfullyanonymous on January 18, 2013, 07:25:22 PM
As heard from someone who was a clogger, and was the only male dancer in his class when teased by a football player...

"I am the only male dancer in a room full of girls, you play a game with all guys, share a locker room with all guys and shower with all guys, whose really the g** one here?"


I realize your son is too young to really care, but you may be able to modify that to fit you with out it being too rude. IMHO, some times people say things that require a different perspective.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: FoxPaws on January 18, 2013, 07:26:14 PM
Depending on who's commenting, either laugh out loud or looked terribly shocked and say, "Good grief! Are you telling me there are still people who think like that in this day and age?!??!?"

The other technique is to make them squirm, "Do you really think that? Why do you think that?" and wait - staring silently - for an answer.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Just Lori on January 18, 2013, 07:27:22 PM
When someone says, "Well, in my day, a boy in ballet would be ..." say, "Would be what?"  Force them to say it out loud.  Then ask, "Do you really think ballet lessons have the power to do that?"  Let them own the ridiculousness of their comments.

And if they do push it and say, "Well, you don't want him to turn out that way, do you," this is a good opportunity to say, "I'm going to love my son regardless of any preferences, so I'm not sure why you're concerned."

Sigh.  I wonder how many potential awesome male dancers never get the chance to find their love for that art.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: gramma dishes on January 18, 2013, 07:27:30 PM

...   Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.

I think that if you stick to "Hmm, I think it's quite interesting that you think that!" which implies automatically that you disagree with them and think their way of thinking is outmoded and strange in this day and age.

The bottom line is, do what you want and if your child enjoys the lessons and the camaraderie with the other kids in the class, he shouldn't be cheated out of the experience because of whatever a few old silly people think.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: gramma dishes on January 18, 2013, 07:30:53 PM
P.S.  Dancing, especially ballet, requires more skill, stamina and brute strength than most sports anyway.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: MOM21SON on January 18, 2013, 07:37:46 PM
P.S.  Dancing, especially ballet, requires more skill, stamina and brute strength than most sports anyway.

This is soooo true!  My DS had issues with dexterity and it was recommended for him to take ballet.  We didn't because at the time it was suggested, he was 12ish and not interested.  But when he had OT in elementary school, the kid danced a lot.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: AnnaJane on January 18, 2013, 07:42:28 PM
I like FoxPaws answer, I'm going to start using that. I have two boys in Irish dance, and have gotten the occaisional comment as well.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: MommyPenguin on January 18, 2013, 07:42:38 PM
My husband took ballet in college.  When people tried to tease him about it, he pointed out that the demographics were rather in his favor, and winked.  :)

Mostly I like the idea of getting them to say exactly what they are saying he will become, and then asking them why they think that a certain style of dancing that has been performed for hundreds of years would turn a boy gay, etc.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on January 18, 2013, 07:50:38 PM
I played a lot of sports, from when I was a kid to well into adulthood, since I like athletics of all kinds.  I played basketball, baseball, hockey and I did ballroom dancing.  Ballroom was by FAR the hardest, and the sport in which I sustained the most...and the most severe...injuries.  Dance is not for the faint of heart.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Coruscation on January 18, 2013, 07:59:44 PM
So what you're saying is that if your parents had sent you to ballet lessons when you were a child, you'd have become homosexual?  Would you be okay to start lessons now or is it only effective before puberty? If I notice any side effects and make him take extra football lessons, will  he become more butch?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: CookieChica on January 18, 2013, 08:04:13 PM
You have my respect. I would lose my mind if someone was commenting on my preschooler's sexuality. 1) Who cares and 2) are people really sexualizing children so blantantly?

(I do realize sexual identity isn't always sexual but clods like this most likely won't make those distinctions).
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: gmama on January 18, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
I'd reply, "You should ask Mikhail Baryshnikov what he thinks of that theory".
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: baconsmom on January 18, 2013, 08:25:13 PM
My father - who is now a retired Lt. Colonel from the US Army Reserves, and was a graduate of West Point - was also a ballet dancer. He was thisclose to going to Julliard, and decided on the Army instead.

I would do as JustLori suggests and make them state outright what they're thinking. Make them make themselves look ridiculous, and move on with your day.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Roe on January 18, 2013, 08:35:36 PM
"I started ballet in my early 20s. I studied for about ten years. Ballet is probably the one of the hardest things I've done, almost like MMA. People don't give it a lot of credit and think it's easy but it's very difficult. For an athlete, you use muscles you really don't use and ballet is something I really respect."---Herschel Walker. (former Dallas Cowboy) 

Enough said. 
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: MOM21SON on January 18, 2013, 08:48:58 PM
You have my respect. I would lose my mind if someone was commenting on my preschooler's sexuality. 1) Who cares and 2) are people really sexualizing children so blantantly?

(I do realize sexual identity isn't always sexual but clods like this most likely won't make those distinctions).

Why anyone comments on ANYONES sexuality is beyone me.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: m2kbug on January 18, 2013, 09:02:12 PM
I think my approach would be "no big deal" and to the other person, the notion that they are completely insane.  The boy is 3 years old for crying out loud.  Let him explore his interests, and who cares if it doesn't fit the gender mold.  My son played dolls and kitchen way more than his vagina-toting counterpart at that age.  And the thing is, I don't care if either of them are g@y.  Ballet, yes, has that "stigma," but it's an old, tired one.  I think we've all heard about the beefy, masculine, football players taking ballet to improve agility.  Dear lord, you're not locking the boy into a gender-specific-boy-box, you must be a horrible parent. <--sarcasm in case that got missed.

I think I would just approach it overall as these people are NUTS.  Why wouldn't they put their boys in ballet?  Are you CRAZY?  He likes it.  Next year it might be tackle football.  Or kooking for kinders...whatever he chooses.  What's the big deal?  Because it really isn't.

I guess in other words, my responses would be as they would if a daughter were taking ballet.  I would probably not be eHell approved if the discussion were taken further.  It only becomes a big deal when someone makes it a big deal.  He's a boy who likes football (ballet).  <---see what I did there?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Venus193 on January 18, 2013, 09:50:59 PM
Matadors take ballet to become more graceful under fire, as it were.

Really, you've gotten some good replies on this one.  And along with Mikhail Barishnikov they can also ask Peter Martins, Edward Villella, and Jacques D'Amboise.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: doodlemor on January 18, 2013, 10:03:32 PM
From what I've read, many professional athletes train with ballet exercises. 

I suspect that none of these people have actually attended a ballet, and seen the strength of the male dancers in action.  I remember one man who held a ballerina over his head on one hand, with his arm fully extended.  And he did it gracefully, too, with no audible grunts.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Acadianna on January 19, 2013, 12:56:44 AM
Why anyone comments on ANYONES sexuality is beyone me.

I'm going with MOM21SON's answer, and this is one area where I would refuse to respond to any such remarks and innuendo, except perhaps with a raised eyebrow or even a cool stare.  Boys who enjoy ballet -- and their parents -- don't need to justify the choice.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Redsoil on January 19, 2013, 01:43:01 AM
Turn it into a positive.  Tell them "I LOVE the fact that in this day and age, both boys and girls can do any activity they want.  It's wonderful to know my son isn't limited in any choices."
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: PurpleFrog on January 19, 2013, 02:11:37 AM
We're coming up against somthing similar Froglet (3.5) is begging to start ballroom (he wants to e on strictlycome dancing LOL),  so far my responsis have varied:

Yep, cos that's how it works.

Too late to worry I bought him a doll and pram.

After avnightshift so possibly no Shell approved: Good I like shoe shopping and stereotypes.

Or just looking at them daft them carrying on the conversation.


I cannot believe that people still think and say such utter rubbish.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: poundcake on January 19, 2013, 02:31:06 AM
When someone says, "Well, in my day, a boy in ballet would be ..." say, "Would be what?"  Force them to say it out loud.  Then ask, "Do you really think ballet lessons have the power to do that?"  Let them own the ridiculousness of their comments.

And if they do push it and say, "Well, you don't want him to turn out that way, do you," this is a good opportunity to say, "I'm going to love my son regardless of any preferences, so I'm not sure why you're concerned."

These responses are perfect! Stuff like this makes me so angry. It's 2013! Are people really still this stupid and ignorant??
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: sweetonsno on January 19, 2013, 02:58:47 AM

So it comes down to being prepared and -

Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

OR

Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.

This is funny. My personal experiences have obviously colored my response, but my first impression when I read your boss' comment was that it translated to: "Aren't you worried that people might think he's gay/feminine?" The "and make fun of him/give him a hard time" is implicit. It would not even occur to me that someone would suggest that a childhood recreational activity would have any bearing whatsoever on someone's sexual orientation. (To me, it makes about as much sense as someone seriously suggesting that the moon is made of cheese or that babies come from the cabbage patch.)

I bring this up not because I think that it's okay to make that sort of comment, but because I think this may be less that they're worried about your son's sexuality and more worried about the fact that society can be cruel. For those reasons, I'd favor Redsoil's response over one that immediately assumes that the speaker buys into the silly stereotype. Even if they do, your cheerful explanation that society is moving on from those ridiculous beliefs will get your message across quite nicely.

It's certainly silly to think that an activity will cause someone to have a particular sexual orientation. It's also sad that some people see particular sexual orientations as something to avoid. However, you'd probably agree that having a child who is routinely bullied would be unfortunate. Unless your family, friends, and co-workers routinely make other types of homophobic remarks, I'd treat this less as  "What if he turns out gay?" and more as a "What if the other kids make fun of him?" I think that especially if these people are folks that you see frequently, you should try to assume the best.

However, if these folks routinely make other types of homophobic remarks (or they directly come out and ask if you're worried that dancing will make him "that way"), then I vote for calling them out. For comments in the former vein (dance classes will magically determine sexuality), I vote for amused disbelief. "Wait, you don't actually believe that childhood activities might have an impact on my son's sexual orientation, do you?" If it's more in the second vein (it would be bad if your son was gay), I vote for disbelief with a heap of ice: "I hope you don't think so little of me that you believe my love for my children would be dependent upon who they fall in love with."

I hope he does enjoy the classes! Ballet never really appealed to me. I was more of a slime and GI Joes kind of girl.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Snowy Owl on January 19, 2013, 05:29:51 AM
We're coming up against somthing similar Froglet (3.5) is begging to start ballroom (he wants to e on strictlycome dancing LOL),  so far my responsis have varied:

Yep, cos that's how it works.

Too late to worry I bought him a doll and pram.

After avnightshift so possibly no Shell approved: Good I like shoe shopping and stereotypes.

Or just looking at them daft them carrying on the conversation.


I cannot believe that people still think and say such utter rubbish.

Agreed. I like any of those especially the one about shoe shopping and stereotypes.

By the way Froglet will be very popular with the girls when he grows up if he takes up the dancing early and sticks with it.  As a Latin dancer one of the most annoying things to me is the shortage of men in most classes.  Accordingly guys who can and will dance are very popular indeed and usually outnumbered by the women 2 to 1.  This is (in many cases) the reason they want to learn. 

Personally I think it's lovely for boys to get into dance when they're too young to be self conscious, worry about stereotypes and are willing to go with the music and be alive to it.

 
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Venus193 on January 19, 2013, 05:34:36 AM
I took Latin dance in college and there were 3 guys to 21 girls.  My flamenco class was all female for most of the eight years I took that.

Stereotypes and men + dance = "you know" have a long road to their death.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Amava on January 19, 2013, 05:53:00 AM
Busybody: "He might turn out to be gay."
Response: "So?"
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: cicero on January 19, 2013, 06:34:11 AM
Egads! do people *still* believe in this garbage?

I think my (probably not e-hell sanctioned) response would probably be to burst into laughter because those kind of sentiments are sooo ridiculous. and my next reponse would be "so?"

(and just so I get it clear, are these the same kind of people who believe that women should go into social work and teaching and leave the sciences, law, and business to *the men"? [not that there is anything wrong with social work or teaching, but I hate those gender-based divisions. people should choose their careers based on their intellect, passion and personalities, *not* becuase they are a girl/boy]).


'Ello!

Oh my gosh, it's has been a while in here (thankfully). For those who remember, I have a son, Little J, who is now between 3 and 4. Little J is doing wonderfully and we've been looking at starting him on a few organized activities. One of those activities is ballet.

Almost next door to my work is a ballet school. It looks well run, I've heard good things, and I like the discussions I had with the instructors. The teacher in charge of the small children seems lovely and I think Little J would really enjoy it. We've been offered several free class sessions to get him introduced and we're looking forward to trying it out. The problem comes from the comments, which are starting. A boy in ballet? Mmmhmm....

Normally I'd just ignore it, I've gotten comments from coworkers when I said I was looking into it, but now I've got people like my boss commenting. Specifically that in his day a boy joining ballet would mean ((significant look)) the boy was 'you know'. I went with the 'Hmm isn't that nice sure is cold out today' but I strongly suspect that as the news gets around people (older family) are going to voice similar opinions.

So it comes down to being prepared and -

Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

OR

Should I just stick to the 'Hmmm, how interesting of you to think that way' and move on. Which I know is easier but I kind of want people (family) to realize what it is they're actually saying and, even if they really feel that way, that I disagree with them.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: D-Banana on January 19, 2013, 06:49:42 AM


(and just so I get it clear, are these the same kind of people who believe that women should go into social work and teaching and leave the sciences, law, and business to *the men"? [not that there is anything wrong with social work or teaching, but I hate those gender-based divisions. people should choose their careers based on their intellect, passion and personalities, *not* becuase they are a girl/boy]).

I work in a law office where, when the lawyer on maternity leave comes back, the ratio will be 75% women. No, I think their cause for concern is both the 'children can be cruel' and also that it might make my son lean towards the 'feminine'. It's a bit of the 'Girl empowerment is okay but OH TEH NOES a boy wants to do stuff that women tend to dominate in!" He will clearly be mocked, turn 'that way' or both! It's a real frustration to me that, while there's no real resistance anymore to girls doing things outside the traditional, a boy going outside the mold is still treated with concern.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 19, 2013, 08:02:55 AM
My oldest son wanted to take Irish dancing a few years ago but I wasn't able to find anywhere that taught it near us that didn't cost an arm and a leg. So instead I got a DVD for $20 that would teach him.   

But along somewhat similar lines, when he was a toddler he liked to help me clean by grabbing the broom or he'd wipe a table just with a paper towel so I got him a little set of Mr. Clean kids mop and broom that came with plastic bottles that looked like the Mr. Clean floor solution.  My dad saw that and deemed it a "girl toy"  ::)  About a year later we moved back east and at one point my dad, sons and I went to visit my grandparents and at the time the boys and I stayed with my aunt and uncle and their two.   Their daughter, then 6 I think, had these Disney Princess dresses and talked her little brother (not yet 3), Pirateboy 1 (3) and Pirateboy 2 (18 months) into wearing them and doing a fashion show. 

So down the stairs the 3 little boys come, giggling and twirling in the little gowns just like they were shown, and posing for pictures.  Everyone thought it was hilarious while my dad was begging me "delete that picture, come on, can we get them into normal clothes?"  I don't remember deleting the picture, but I don't have it anymore so either I did delete it (didn't have much of a backbone then) or he got a hold of my phone and deleted it for me.

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: FoxPaws on January 19, 2013, 08:53:15 AM
^I can't even count how many men I've known that got dressed up in girly clothes at least once growing up (especially if they had older sisters). Most of them are happily hetero with kids of their own.  ::)
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Last_Dance on January 19, 2013, 09:00:27 AM
Variation on Amava's suggestion upthread:

Busybody: aren't you afraid he'll become...you know.
You: ...a good dancer? *I'd suggest a cross between "wide-eyed-innocence" and "duh"*

Or, if you have enough patience, you could try to explain the concept of false equivalence.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on January 19, 2013, 09:10:35 AM
^I can't even count how many men I've known that got dressed up in girly clothes at least once growing up (especially if they had older sisters). Most of them are happily hetero with kids of their own.  ::)

I knew a very straight guy in college who dressed in drag on Halloween.  And dangit if he didn't look really good in a dress, too. 
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Hunter-Gatherer on January 19, 2013, 09:13:37 AM
My four year old son is also in ballet class.  This one has only come up a couple of times, but when it has I go with a combination of, "If he does, so what, but I highly doubt that taking dance class would be the cause of it" and "If he doesn't and he sticks with ballet, he'll be the one boy surrounded by lots and lots of ballet dancer girls, and have a common interest and things to talk about and practice with them... I wish I'd been in that situation as a teenage boy."
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Cami on January 19, 2013, 09:21:13 AM
A friend of mine has a son who became a ballet dancer (as in studied and was able to get professional work as a ballet dancer as a youngster and adult). She encountered the, "Aren't you afraid?" question countless times. Her answer was quite simple. "No."  And that was the end of it. If someone persisted she would simply repeat, "I'm not afraid of him being gay."  It never failed to work.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: JanaL on January 19, 2013, 09:24:27 AM
Clod: "A boy in ballet, he must be..."
Me: "Interested in learning ballet?"
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Lynnv on January 19, 2013, 09:32:24 AM
Would saying "Are you seriously speculating about the sexual orientation of a CHILD?  Because he enjoys a form of dance?  Could you be any creepier?" be wrong?  Okay-probably, so some of the other answers are probably better and definitely eHell approved.  But this would be my first thought.  Honestly-it is just creepy.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mmswm on January 19, 2013, 10:36:52 AM
The boys in my old neighborhood used to tease my middle son because he took ballet. (middle son is not affected by the bone disease that the other two have).  We moved into that neighborhood over summer break.  The teasing got pretty bad.  DS just grinned and ignored it. Then school started.  DS had all the "pretty" girls hanging out with him, inviting them to their lunch table, and cheering him on during the various games they played in PE.  The mean boys couldn't understand why all the girls just loved DS.  He just laughed. I have to say I'm a lot more worried about DS becoming a womanizing scum bag than I'd ever be of him becoming "you know".

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 19, 2013, 10:57:03 AM
I have to say I'm a lot more worried about DS becoming a womanizing scum bag than I'd ever be of him becoming "you know".

I'm sorry but this made me laugh.   :)

Back when my now 20 year old nephew was about 4, I was making a cake for coffee hour after Easter service.  I had extra batter from the large cake I was making so I made a smaller cake, too.  I was setting out to do the decorating and my nephew was all over me, watching what I was doing.  He was driving me nuts so I filled a piping bag, threw on a star tip, showed him how to make stars and let him go, decorating the smaller cake.  Which gave me some piece to decorate the larger cake.

My brother came in from outside and was a little taken aback because he thought cake decorating was a girl's thing.  He's relaxed a lot about it, especially when his younger son wanted a doll.  His mother got him a little doll that was a boy.  The doll was a favourite toy to cart around, but mostly by a leg or arm.  There was no baby cuddling of that doll.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VorFemme on January 19, 2013, 11:34:39 AM
The boys in my old neighborhood used to tease my middle son because he took ballet. (middle son is not affected by the bone disease that the other two have).  We moved into that neighborhood over summer break.  The teasing got pretty bad.  DS just grinned and ignored it. Then school started.  DS had all the "pretty" girls hanging out with him, inviting them to their lunch table, and cheering him on during the various games they played in PE.  The mean boys couldn't understand why all the girls just loved DS.  He just laughed. I have to say I'm a lot more worried about DS becoming a womanizing scum bag than I'd ever be of him becoming "you know".


I remember a story told by a guy who grew up sewing....the male athletes were being mean to him about taking Home Ec and "being that way".

He pointed out that they were sweating with a bunch of guys, showering with them, and surrounded for hours a day by all GUYS. 

He was the only guy in the home ec class and they were working on sewing that semester.  He was surrounded by girls and asked to help pin up hems & fit patterns or dresses in progress.  Why were they claiming HE was acting g@y?  He was the one guy surrounded by GIRLS!

I have no idea what happened next - but apparently the jocks quit calling him g@y.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mmswm on January 19, 2013, 11:40:18 AM
I have to say I'm a lot more worried about DS becoming a womanizing scum bag than I'd ever be of him becoming "you know".

I'm sorry but this made me laugh.   :)

Back when my now 20 year old nephew was about 4, I was making a cake for coffee hour after Easter service.  I had extra batter from the large cake I was making so I made a smaller cake, too.  I was setting out to do the decorating and my nephew was all over me, watching what I was doing.  He was driving me nuts so I filled a piping bag, threw on a star tip, showed him how to make stars and let him go, decorating the smaller cake.  Which gave me some piece to decorate the larger cake.

My brother came in from outside and was a little taken aback because he thought cake decorating was a girl's thing.  He's relaxed a lot about it, especially when his younger son wanted a doll.  His mother got him a little doll that was a boy.  The doll was a favourite toy to cart around, but mostly by a leg or arm.  There was no baby cuddling of that doll.

Feel free to laugh.

As for the cake decorating, I have this friend who prides himself on his cakes.  He made his own wedding cake, and has done wedding cakes for a number of friends.  Now, that in itself, isn't the big deal.  The funny part is that by looking at him, you'd never know he'd be into something like that.  He's 6 foot 2, former Army helicopter pilot, tattooed from his neck to his waist/wrists, drives a Harley.  You'd think by looking at him that he's a biker gang thug.  The reality is that he's a well respected scientist in his field and likes to decorate wedding cakes for fun.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VorFemme on January 19, 2013, 12:22:44 PM
Guy I used to know in the Air Force sewed - looked a lot like Number One from Star Trek: The Next Generation....about six foot tall.  We went to his second wedding (and his older daughter's wedding a few years later). 

He sewed for relaxation - usually redoing the upholstery in cars - he was into a particular classic car....I just don't remember the name of the car twenty-five years later.  It would be funny - VorGuy and his fiancee/wife both had experience in the sheet metal shop, so they would compare techniques there once in a while.  He and I would talk about a tricky bit of sewing on upholstery, velvet, or leather.  Must have really weirded out a few eavesdroppers....
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Hawkwatcher on January 19, 2013, 02:24:32 PM
Egads! do people *still* believe in this garbage?


I recently watched the film Billy Elliot, which was made in the 1980s.  I remember thinking that our attitudes that our attitudes had changed signficantly toward boys dancing after viewing that film.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I agree that it is ridiculous to have to deal with these attitudes in 2013. 

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Snowy Owl on January 19, 2013, 02:49:04 PM
Egads! do people *still* believe in this garbage?


I recently watched the film Billy Elliot, which was made in the 1980s.  I remember thinking that our attitudes that our attitudes had changed signficantly toward boys dancing after viewing that film.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I agree that it is ridiculous to have to deal with these attitudes in 2013.

Billy Elliot was interesting.  I liked it that he was the one who wanted to do ballet but was heterosexual and his best friend Michael who didn't dance was gay.  By the way the guy who plays the adult Billy at the end (with all the make up, feathered shorts and bare chest) is married with children. 

I think liking dancing, or pretty clothes has nothing to do with orientation.  I know at least one male bellydancer who loves the the clothes, sequins and the dressing up but also likes rugby and going to the pub and chatting up pretty girls.  I think part of the reason he likes bellydance is because he's surrounded by girls in revealing outfits and is incredibly popular with them.  That said he is a really good dancer. 

People are delightfully complex and can easily enjoy contrasting occupations and pastimes.   In the latin classes and socials I attend we have people of all different occupations and backgrounds and I've no idea whether most of them are gay, straight or somewhere in the middle. 
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Allyson on January 19, 2013, 07:29:29 PM
So many assumptions here. The assumption that ballet is 'feminine' and doing anything feminine will make a boy less masculine. The idea that being less masculine will make him gay. The idea that gay men are always 'girly'. The idea that being less masculine or gay is a negative. I'd love to have something that politely and clearly said 'I disagree with all of these assumptions'.

Maybe 'We will love him whether he's gay or straight, but I don't believe dance classes will have any effect on that'. Though that doesn't address the 'masculine' concerns, only the gay ones.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: katycoo on January 19, 2013, 08:28:33 PM
So many responses.

1. How many male ballet dancers have you actualy known?

2. Dancing exposes him to a lot of half-naked girls.  He'll thank us later.

3. or my fave:  Yes, that's what we're hoping for.

Shuts em right up.

Ballet is a notoriously difficult sport,and also incrediably manly at adult level.  I'd be very proud to have a dancing son.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mmswm on January 19, 2013, 09:32:27 PM

2. Dancing exposes him to a lot of half-naked girls.  He'll thank us later.


Coffee meet monitor.

Actually, my 11 year old says something similar to this quite a bit.  The athletic aspect of ballet is awe-inspiring.  I've been around a lot of dancers, as I went to a boarding school for the performing arts in high school, and now my son dances.  He went to an audition for Canada's National Ballet school a year ago and I thought he was going to collapse from the work they put those kids through.  It really is a lot of work.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: girlysprite on January 19, 2013, 10:16:23 PM
I think that a male allet dancer would win a fight with many other sport people. They have great strength, stamina and agility. Have you ever seen those guys lift the girls as if they weigh nothing?


The sad truth is that anything female related is considered inferior to male stuff. The most vilified books are for a female audience (twilight and 50 shades). The most vilified popstar sings for teen girls (bieber). A girl going to a guy movie withher boyfriend is considered normal, even expected (a reason why not so mucg attention is spent on thattarhetgroup for such movies), a guy going to a girl movie with his girlfriend is considered a big sacrifice. A woman becoming anengineer is awesome, a man becoming a nuse (or ballet dancer) is uncool.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 19, 2013, 11:57:38 PM
I'd reply, "You should ask Mikhail Baryshnikov what he thinks of that theory".

This. I love this. I can't get over how far apart the reality is from this particular stereotype. The bozos may call them twinkle toes, but (male) dancers are usually seen as athletic and sexy.

I also can't believe people still throw around the insulting assumption that all male "you knows" are effeminate. They can be/do anything, just like everyone else. There are "you know" football players, martial artists, etc. Pick any activity and I'm sure you can find a "you know" who is interested in it.

If you really feel the need to engage these morons about their assumptions about ballet or the people who perform it, maybe you could look at them wide-eyed and say "Gosh, I thought dancing was for coordination, athleticism, and creativity. How does it make you 'you know'?"  ??? Treat them like they should give you a scientific explanation for their idiocy. Make them take you through the actual supposed 'conversion' process.

If they can actually do the above without sounding like and idiot, and realizing they sound like and idiot, and continue to insist that ballet is bad/will make your son 'YK', just shut them down with "I love and support my son. Period."
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: poundcake on January 20, 2013, 01:17:54 AM
The responses in this thread are giving me hope for humanity.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: nolechica on January 20, 2013, 01:35:07 AM
My out friends would love this, most of them are as far from stereotypical as you can get and bad dancers to boot. Plus, what girl doesn't love a guy who can dance, regardless of who he loves?  As for girly stuff as a kid, my "lil bro" is married and as wonderful cook.  His wife thanks my sister and I for teaching him that dress up and cooking go both ways. >:D
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Shopaholic on January 20, 2013, 05:51:42 AM
I'd reply, "You should ask Mikhail Baryshnikov what he thinks of that theory".

This was my first thought, too.

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Gail on January 20, 2013, 06:17:59 AM
I think I would react saying: "Wow, I wouldn't have imagined you were THAT kid of person".

But maybe that would be rude.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: magicdomino on January 20, 2013, 09:21:34 AM
I think that a male ballet dancer would win a fight with many other sport people. They have great strength, stamina and agility. Have you ever seen those guys lift the girls as if they weigh nothing?


Yup.  He's lifting 90 pounds, straight-armed, no grunting or grimacing allowed.  And he's doing it after running around for 20 or 30 minutes.  And he has to make it look good.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: BabylonSister on January 20, 2013, 09:33:36 AM
I think that a male allet dancer would win a fight with many other sport people. They have great strength, stamina and agility. Have you ever seen those guys lift the girls as if they weigh nothing?


The sad truth is that anything female related is considered inferior to male stuff. The most vilified books are for a female audience (twilight and 50 shades). The most vilified popstar sings for teen girls (bieber). A girl going to a guy movie withher boyfriend is considered normal, even expected (a reason why not so mucg attention is spent on thattarhetgroup for such movies), a guy going to a girl movie with his girlfriend is considered a big sacrifice. A woman becoming anengineer is awesome, a man becoming a nuse (or ballet dancer) is uncool.


Yup, totally agree.  And my favorite response to "Oh no, ballet will turn your son effeminate/gay!" would have to be "So?"  I wouldn't bother correcting the misconceptions about ballet because that seems to imply that being effeminate or gay is a bad thing.  Since the OP doesn't appear to have an issue with either, I would just make that very clear.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Shea on January 20, 2013, 01:26:27 PM
I did a lot of Scottish folkdance and Highland dance in college, and one guy in the group was a National Guardsman, and a dang good dancer. Have you ever seen a 6 foot 3 or 4, muscular guy do the Highland Fling in a kilt and combat boots? It's impressive (if slightly clunkier than the traditional version).

I really think the best response you can give (as amusing as a lot of these are) is, "So?" with a raised eyebrow. That will either force them to either back down, or to explain exactly why you should be "worried". Which, I imagine, most people are not going to do.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: wheeitsme on January 20, 2013, 02:40:11 PM
Boy in ballet, he must be...

...a kid who wants to be a better football player?

...an amazing athlete?

...surrounded by pretty girls?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mmswm on January 20, 2013, 02:47:48 PM
Boy in ballet, he must be...

...a kid who wants to be a better football player?

...an amazing athlete?

...surrounded by pretty girls?

The part in bold reminded me of something.  Every summer and fall, my son's old ballet studio becomes overrun with boys because one of the local teams requires its players to take ballet as part of their training. I can't believe I forgot about that.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Iris on January 20, 2013, 03:35:51 PM
l suppose "What the heck is wrong with you? Who would even ask that?" wouldn't be ehell approved, but it's the first thing that would come to MY mind.



2. Dancing exposes him to a lot of half-naked girls.  He'll thank us later.


Coffee meet monitor.


This is a true thing. I knew a young man who did dance. He was raised to be a gentleman but he once told me that if he had been looking, he could have seen more by age 14 than his friends saw by age 24.

One of my fondest memories of teaching is when, after an announcement about the cheerleading team, one of my students (age about 12) said "Cheerleading? You'd have to be g-y" l looked at him and said thoughtfully "Hm, yes, you're probably right. Lifting pretty girls in short skirts up above your head? Nothing there for a straight guy." Watching his face as the cogs ticked over in his head was pure delight. He was later heard expressing his resolve to try out for cheerleading.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: JacklynHyde on January 20, 2013, 04:22:42 PM
My friend's daughter is on her middle school's wrestling team.  Wonder what people would think of that?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: pearls n purls on January 20, 2013, 04:57:07 PM
My friend's daughter is on her middle school's wrestling team.  Wonder what people would think of that?

It's usually more acceptable for a girl to participate in "boy" activities than for a boy to participate in "girl" activities. 

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: booklover03 on January 20, 2013, 04:57:55 PM
My friend's daughter is on her middle school's wrestling team.  Wonder what people would think of that?

I think it's awesome!
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Minmom3 on January 20, 2013, 07:45:46 PM
My youngest wrestled in high school.  Not terribly well, but she enjoyed it.  The BEST DAY EVER was the day she beat a boy from a nearby high school.  The utter joy on her face when she won was truly sweet.  The complete chagrin on his face, well, I felt for him, I did.  Technically, she had two wins over boys, because one boy refused to bout with her, and defaulted!  She's anything but a tomboy, but she has very sweet memories of those years, and somewhat sadly remembers just how much she could eat in those days and burn it off.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VltGrantham on January 23, 2013, 12:15:09 PM
Quote
Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

Give people a list:  Mikhail Baryshnikov (notorious for his affairs with famous ballerinas and actresses), Victor Barbee (Julie Kent's husband and Associate Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre,) Sascha Radetsky, and Benjamin Millepied (married to Natalie Portman).

And, if your personal beliefs extend to this, I would simply say that I believe people are born this way, not made into one by their activities.

(You could also point out that it was custom in the Spartan Army, widely known for its fighting prowess, for every young male entering the Army to take an older male lover.  I bet that'd raise a few brows!)
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 23, 2013, 12:59:36 PM
"What an interesting assumption"  followed by "Is that what happened to Rob Halford of Judas Priest?  He took dance lessons?"

Okay, maybe not.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Cutenoob on January 24, 2013, 12:21:57 AM
Look at Patrick Swayze's career. His mother taught him professional dance, he was a dancer, and very masculine (argh pulling the sexist part there). He was so toned and fit; he was considered very good looking.
So what if he dances, he's going to be so fit and in shape I don't have to worry about his health. Now, would you like to have some Crow Pudding?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: nolechica on January 24, 2013, 03:05:30 AM
"What an interesting assumption"  followed by "Is that what happened to Rob Halford of Judas Priest?  He took dance lessons?"

Okay, maybe not.

Evil Kate very much likes this. Stereotypes annoy her A LOT.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: iridaceae on January 24, 2013, 04:43:34 AM
. Plus, what girl doesn't love a guy who can dance, regardless of who he loves?

Well,  not to point out the stereotyping here but...I don't care. I'm a female who doesn't like to dance so whether a guy likes to or not or is good or not is irrelevant to me.


There was an article in a newspaper some years ago which was an interview with a Prison Warden of a major prison in Wisconsin. He'd been a professional ballet dancer in Europe for some years before retiring and he said in Europe people didn't do the "ballet = gay " meme but instead the "ballet dancer= gets the women " meme.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Venus193 on January 24, 2013, 05:56:59 AM
Unfortunately, many American men have the idea that dancing is unmasculine.  My flamenco class was all female except for one term during which we had a guy who was really good and even had the look for that dance.... but had a jealous fiancee.  I posted a poll on another site once and the men who responded all said they danced at their weddings because it was expected, but a few of them pointedly stated "I'm doing this under protest because dancing is so g*y."

When I was on vacation in Spain I explained that to some people on a party boat and they were shocked and upset.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: guihong on January 24, 2013, 07:22:22 AM
Quote
Is there a polite way to tell people (family) exactly how wrong it is that they're; a) implying that a parent involving their child in an activity will cause the child to become 'you know'; and b) acting as if a child being 'you know' is a negative, or a threat that should try to be avoided.

Give people a list:  Mikhail Baryshnikov (notorious for his affairs with famous ballerinas and actresses), Victor Barbee (Julie Kent's husband and Associate Artistic Director of American Ballet Theatre,) Sascha Radetsky, and Benjamin Millepied (married to Natalie Portman).

And, if your personal beliefs extend to this, I would simply say that I believe people are born this way, not made into one by their activities.

(You could also point out that it was custom in the Spartan Army, widely known for its fighting prowess, for every young male entering the Army to take an older male lover.  I bet that'd raise a few brows!)

Alexander Gudunov. Now there was a beautiful man.

Also, football players have been known to take ballet to develop quick movements on their feet.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VltGrantham on January 24, 2013, 08:26:11 AM
Quote
Also, football players have been known to take ballet to develop quick movements on their feet.

I know several of the Redskins did, because they actually came to our studio to take classes.

I don't follow the show, but wasn't there a famous football player who won one season of "Dancing with the Stars"?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: carol1412 on January 24, 2013, 08:42:01 AM
Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers (Go PACK!)

There have been several football players appearing on Dancing with the Stars and for the most part, I think they've all done pretty well.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: RegionMom on January 24, 2013, 09:03:54 AM
There was a summer tv show about a ballet company, and only one person was gay.  One couple was married, and there was dating and couples.
The work was hard...very physical, and the guys were very buff and handsome.  They did not have much time for dating outside the company because it takes so much time and work.  lots of dedication.

As for my family, I am short, and DH is not tall.  We put the kids in gymnastics, knowing that football was not likely an option, even in this big football state. 

DS changed to karate a few years later, and one of the higher skills is to do a cartwheel over to your weapon.  He is good at that!

He is now a black belt and gives some credit to his early training in gymnastics, another sport that could be considered effeminate. 

I like the asking the questioners directly, "so, what studies are you quoting that a sport can direct your sexuality?  Oh, you do not have any?  then please leave me and my son alone."

And yes, a football player did win Dancing With the Stars a few years ago, something about green shoes?

I wish DH would dance.  And you know, way back when, dancing was considered vertical foreplay.

Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VltGrantham on January 24, 2013, 09:18:52 AM
Quote
Unfortunately, many American men have the idea that dancing is unmasculine.

We've gone to several Hindu and Iraqi weddings.  I think it's very funny, because you can almost tell without a doubt, who the Americans are and who aren't.  At their weddings, the men are up dancing and going crazy--the most of the Americans (not all) are sitting at their tables and watching.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: BabyMama on January 24, 2013, 09:48:30 AM
My friend's daughter is on her middle school's wrestling team.  Wonder what people would think of that?

My friend's husband coaches the local high school wrestling team. He has said he'll never allow his daughter (who is very tomboyish and would probably love it) to wrestle. He says he's thinking of all the male wrestlers who would have to be put in the position of wrestling (and potentially losing) to a girl. That would be my hill to die on, if that was my husband.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: ncgal on January 24, 2013, 11:41:32 AM
hmmm, so what would they say about all the guys at my daughter's dance studio, one of which I know only does dance full time after Dec as he plays football for the local high school team in the Fall.  All of the guys and girls on the dance team have to take ballet and a few of the guys are even teacher assistants for the little kids ballet classes. 

So the ballet would make him....
The football would make him....

with that logic he would be a super confused guy

A guy taking ballet means......a guy is taking ballet....nothing more, nothing less.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Iris on January 24, 2013, 02:33:36 PM
My friend's daughter is on her middle school's wrestling team.  Wonder what people would think of that?

My friend's husband coaches the local high school wrestling team. He has said he'll never allow his daughter (who is very tomboyish and would probably love it) to wrestle. He says he's thinking of all the male wrestlers who would have to be put in the position of wrestling (and potentially losing) to a girl. That would be my hill to die on, if that was my husband.

There are no words to express how deeply sad and angry that story makes me. His poor daughter.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: gramma dishes on January 24, 2013, 02:40:19 PM
Wrestling is the ONE and only sport where I'd be a little reluctant to have boys and girls as combatants.  My son wrestled a little in high school, although quickly deciding he preferred soccer.  And one of my grandson's is pursing wrestling now in it's most basic (elementary school) level.

There are certain wrestling moves and holds which I think might be inappropriate for boys and girls to engage in together.  Some are quite ... well ... intimate.   It makes this sport different from baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, even football.  So I kind of "get" where these parents are coming from and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a boy feeling 'shame' at being beaten by a girl.  Why would that be any different from a girl beating a boy in tennis or any other sport?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Moray on January 24, 2013, 03:08:26 PM
Boy in ballet, he must be....learning to dance?

It's always difficult to counter these types of comments. Does one start with the assumption about sexual orientation, or the idea that being effeminate or homosexual is somehow wrong?

Personally, I like to go with deliberate, cheerful ignorance. Most people, when asked to actually clarify what they know to be an uncharitable assumption or insensitive statement will realize they're being inappropriate and put a lid on it.

Them: "Your boy's in ballet? Do you want him to be...you know?"
You, smiling: "Know what?"
Them: "Well, don't you worry he's going to turn out..."
You, still politely: "Turn out how?"
Them: "Um, gay."
You, looking pleasantly confused: "I can't see how a dance class would affect that. Besides, it's not like it's a bad thing."

And then go right back to what you were doing, or go grab a cup of coffee, or make some copies.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VorFemme on January 24, 2013, 03:41:10 PM
I think that a male ballet dancer would win a fight with many other sport people. They have great strength, stamina and agility. Have you ever seen those guys lift the girls as if they weigh nothing?


Yup.  He's lifting 90 pounds, straight-armed, no grunting or grimacing allowed.  And he's doing it after running around for 20 or 30 minutes.  And he has to make it look good.

You forgot "look easy" and "look graceful".
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: katycoo on January 24, 2013, 06:36:00 PM
Wrestling is the ONE and only sport where I'd be a little reluctant to have boys and girls as combatants.  My son wrestled a little in high school, although quickly deciding he preferred soccer.  And one of my grandson's is pursing wrestling now in it's most basic (elementary school) level.

There are certain wrestling moves and holds which I think might be inappropriate for boys and girls to engage in together.  Some are quite ... well ... intimate.   It makes this sport different from baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, even football.  So I kind of "get" where these parents are coming from and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a boy feeling 'shame' at being beaten by a girl.  Why would that be any different from a girl beating a boy in tennis or any other sport?

If your ballet dancing child was then paired to dance a romantic scene in a pas de deux?  Or a lift where the support was held on the upper thigh?
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Alpacas on January 24, 2013, 06:54:36 PM
I think that a male ballet dancer would win a fight with many other sport people. They have great strength, stamina and agility. Have you ever seen those guys lift the girls as if they weigh nothing?


Yup.  He's lifting 90 pounds, straight-armed, no grunting or grimacing allowed.  And he's doing it after running around for 20 or 30 minutes.  And he has to make it look good.

You forgot "look easy" and "look graceful".

I think the best visual example for all this is this man here: Youtube: Lost in Motion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OR-n3Rg6E8&feature=share&list=FLlbv7Hs-rQ9Zf621IZP2Y5Q)

The body control, the tension.
Simply incredible. I could watch his movements for hours.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: gramma dishes on January 24, 2013, 09:52:04 PM

If your ballet dancing child was then paired to dance a romantic scene in a pas de deux?  Or a lift where the support was held on the upper thigh?

Point well made!  Somehow the contact seems altogether different in a dance context though.  Flying through the air just seems so much more graceful than thrashing around on a floor mat. 
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mmswm on January 24, 2013, 10:41:00 PM

If your ballet dancing child was then paired to dance a romantic scene in a pas de deux?  Or a lift where the support was held on the upper thigh?

My son made a comment about this when some boys were teasing him about being a ballet dancer.  The comment is not eHell approved, but suffice it to say that this was the moment I began to worry about becoming a grandmother far to early.  We had a very long talk, involving threats of being pulled from ballet, about the importance of respecting women after that.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: katycoo on January 24, 2013, 10:47:09 PM

If your ballet dancing child was then paired to dance a romantic scene in a pas de deux?  Or a lift where the support was held on the upper thigh?

Point well made!  Somehow the contact seems altogether different in a dance context though.  Flying through the air just seems so much more graceful than thrashing around on a floor mat.

You know, its funny but considering this myself, I'd actually prefer the wrestling.

In wresting, the contact is secondary to the goal.  Goal is to win, the contact may or may not happen.

In ballet, the goal is to communicate an emotion.  The sensuality is intentional, even if not true between the parties.  The contact is planned and intentional.

I would probably allow both, particularly since a level of talent and commitment (and maturity) is present by the time dancing would progress to such a level. But still, food for thought.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: barefoot_girl on January 25, 2013, 10:08:28 AM
In England, even rugby players have done a bit of dancing and ice-skating on TV! One of my husband's friends is an ex-military policeman, now a civilian policeman, specialising in riot training and crowd control. he is what you might call a Hard Case. He's in his 40s now, but when he was 17, and at FE college, he studied Beauty Therapy and was the only male in a class of about 25 females. His friends all teased him, of course, but he would calmly point out that there was just him, surrounded by 25 girls all making themselves look as beautiful as possible...and then the friends would go away rather quietly and thoughtfully!

He is the only riot policeman I know who can give you a lovely manicure.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: nolechica on January 25, 2013, 11:13:27 AM
. Plus, what girl doesn't love a guy who can dance, regardless of who he loves?

Well,  not to point out the stereotyping here but...I don't care. I'm a female who doesn't like to dance so whether a guy likes to or not or is good or not is irrelevant to me.


There was an article in a newspaper some years ago which was an interview with a Prison Warden of a major prison in Wisconsin. He'd been a professional ballet dancer in Europe for some years before retiring and he said in Europe people didn't do the "ballet = gay " meme but instead the "ballet dancer= gets the women " meme.

You'd be the exception then because most girls I know have judged guys on their dancing at some point.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 25, 2013, 11:19:38 AM
Re:  Guys and dancing.

I was at a country bar one night, watching an older couple dance.  They were so smooth and looked fantastic and I so wanted to do that.  I ran into the wife in the washroom a little later in the evening so I commented to her what great dancers they were and then asked her if she'd mind if I asked her husband to dance.  She laughed and said it would probably make his night.

So I did.  I don't know about his night but it made mine, being able to dance with a guy who knew what he was doing and could lead!  None of the guys my own age could dance that way.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on January 25, 2013, 11:45:14 AM
I feel like Im beating my head against a wall because of this stereotype and the larger "make fun of guys who dance" one. I really want to take ballroom lessons with my SO. He refuses, because said stereotype is so ingrained in his head (hes not even a super macho kind of guy and readily admits that most of the time when we watch RomComs and chick flicks, he chose them).

Hes more than willing to be the "quilt shop husband" or do just about any other sort of activity together (maybe not mani/pedis), but draws the line at dancing. Hmph.

On topic, I agree with all the PPs that I would force the people to finish their sentence, frown, and respond along the lines of "why would I be concerned with that? How about some beandip?"
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Venus193 on January 26, 2013, 06:09:28 AM
I took ballroom dance lessons many years ago and ended up dating someone I met there.  He could have been a competition show contestant, he was that good.  When we danced in public I would notice other women watching and their husbands or dates shaking their heads.

This is sad stuff.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: camlan on January 26, 2013, 07:23:30 AM
My mom forced my then-15-year-old brother to take ballroom dance classes. He hated it. Or at least that's what he said. I did notice that he went to every single class, no matter how loudly he protested.

Now that he's all grown up? He's incredibly popular at weddings and other events where there is dancing. He ends up teaching women the basics of the rumba and the cha-cha. He's in the military and on occasion has to attend military balls, where his dancing skills are in great demand. He has women calling him and asking him to go with them, because he is a reliable dancer.

As for the topic of the OP. I have an 8 year old nephew who takes Irish dance lessons. When he was younger, he was determined to do everything his big sister did, including finger nail polish, sparkly dressups and play makeup. He doesn't like war movies or loud noises or the sound of people yelling at each other. He's not into team sports. He cares more than most 8 year olds about how he is dressed and if his top goes with his pants.

He is an excellent swimmer and gymnast. He stands up for little kids on the school playground who are being bullied by bigger kids. He's outgrown the desire for finger nail polish and eye shadow.

But you would not believe the comments that other people make about his choices, even close family members. My SIL has a good take on this. "Liking purple won't make him g@y. But all the commenting about it might make him uncomfortable."

He's going to grow up to be whatever it is that he was meant to be. Liking Irish dance isn't going to change him.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: D-Banana on January 26, 2013, 02:37:31 PM
Well Little J had a really good second 'try' (even though he hit his head on the barre; he's tall for a 3 year old) and so we've signed him up for the rest of the season.

My boss, who made the 'you know' comment, commented again that football players take it now. It seems like this is less an issue of him honestly believing it and just being of the generation where this is what was taught and implied and so he's never really questioned it.

I like the 'nothing for a straight guy there!', I think I'll save it for outside of work comments.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: littlebird on January 26, 2013, 06:18:05 PM
Glad your son had fun!

And I had to share, in case you don't know/remember the book. There's a kid's picture book titled Max, written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora, about a boy who goes to his sister's ballet class before baseball practice. He gets teased, but in the end his ballet skills help him out on the baseball diamond. It was the first thing I thought of when I saw your post title, and apparently it's still in print! (It was on Reading Rainbow when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure I have my copy around somewhere...)
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: VltGrantham on January 28, 2013, 09:25:00 AM
I'm sorry, but I do have to laugh at the notion of wrestling somehow being more intimate than dancing--particularly if any kind of acting is involved.  In certain ways, I have been far more intimate on stage than I probably ever have been with my husband who dances, but does not do ballet.

In Romeo and Juliet, to name just one, there's a fair amount of "rolling around".  Not to mention, there is something to be said for spending hours with a guy's hands very near or at certain parts of your anatomy and/or sitting with your derriere right at their eye level or even in their face for long periods of time, over and over and over again.

Add in any kind of romantic acting with that and it's far more intimate than any wrestling and/or trying to pin someone to floor could ever be--at least in my opinion.  Wrestling just doesn't convey emotion, romantic love, and/or amazing music!  (At least not in my experience.)
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: nuit93 on January 28, 2013, 12:55:43 PM
Wrestling is the ONE and only sport where I'd be a little reluctant to have boys and girls as combatants.  My son wrestled a little in high school, although quickly deciding he preferred soccer.  And one of my grandson's is pursing wrestling now in it's most basic (elementary school) level.

There are certain wrestling moves and holds which I think might be inappropriate for boys and girls to engage in together.  Some are quite ... well ... intimate.   It makes this sport different from baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming, even football.  So I kind of "get" where these parents are coming from and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a boy feeling 'shame' at being beaten by a girl.  Why would that be any different from a girl beating a boy in tennis or any other sport?

Wow--this is the first I'd heard of women being able to compete with men in wrestling.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't co-ed at my school.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Minmom3 on January 28, 2013, 01:20:40 PM
My daughter's coach was a good one - and he was the coach for the entire team of boys and girls.  He ran them pretty hard when it came to fitness exercises; they had put some protocol in place to deal with fungus amongus (ring worm) that DID work; and there was never any 'handsies' business going on.  If anything, the boys were paranoid about accidentally touching 'wrongly' and were not so much respectful as frightened of messing up.  The LAST thing they all appeared to think it was was romantic in any shape or form.  I asked DD about that a time or two and she pretty much laughed it off.  The boys wanted girls who didn't wrestle, and DD didn't want the wrestling boys either - maybe because she saw them up close and personal, and really really crude...  I think the only real problem she had the two years she did it was that most of the girls showers at school were broken, AND weren't working after practice so she had to come home sweaty and stinky, so I made her put a thick towel on the car seat...

She enjoyed it a lot.  She remembers with great fondness how fit she was then, and with great sorrow how much she could eat and burn off!
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: joraemi on January 29, 2013, 12:42:05 PM
My son took ballet with his two older sisters when he was 3 and they were 5 and 7.  It was awesome!  The program they did for the recital that year was Mr. Big Stuff.  Can you guess who the star was??  Oh yeah baby!!  It was hilariously sweet.

  If anyone had dared to make a comment to me about him being, "you know", I think I'd have been tempted to laugh and say, "Take off your caveman hat and rejoin us in the 21st century! Can you please pass the bean dip?"
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: BeagleMommy on January 29, 2013, 03:20:18 PM
I'm sorry, but I do have to laugh at the notion of wrestling somehow being more intimate than dancing--particularly if any kind of acting is involved.  In certain ways, I have been far more intimate on stage than I probably ever have been with my husband who dances, but does not do ballet.

In Romeo and Juliet, to name just one, there's a fair amount of "rolling around".  Not to mention, there is something to be said for spending hours with a guy's hands very near or at certain parts of your anatomy and/or sitting with your derriere right at their eye level or even in their face for long periods of time, over and over and over again.

Add in any kind of romantic acting with that and it's far more intimate than any wrestling and/or trying to pin someone to floor could ever be--at least in my opinion.  Wrestling just doesn't convey emotion, romantic love, and/or amazing music!  (At least not in my experience.)

When DH and I were first engaged I was in a community theater production of "You Can't Take It with You".  This brought back fond memories of me having to explain "stage kissing" to DH.  ;D
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: jedikaiti on January 29, 2013, 05:55:54 PM
I did a lot of Scottish folkdance and Highland dance in college, and one guy in the group was a National Guardsman, and a dang good dancer. Have you ever seen a 6 foot 3 or 4, muscular guy do the Highland Fling in a kilt and combat boots? It's impressive (if slightly clunkier than the traditional version).

I just nearly fainted.

I have to say, I am really glad I am not the OP, as the sort of nonsense being described here gets my hackles up on so many levels that the shiniest of polite spines might not save me from e-Hell.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: jedikaiti on January 29, 2013, 06:05:11 PM
But you would not believe the comments that other people make about his choices, even close family members. My SIL has a good take on this. "Liking purple won't make him g@y. But all the commenting about it might make him uncomfortable."

I have GOT to remember that line.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: mharbourgirl on January 30, 2013, 12:43:35 PM
My Dad refused to allow me to play hockey when I was growing up. I had three brothers who did and my Dad was the coach. I had to spend my weekends bumming around the arena watching every other member of my family (save for my Mom) participate in an activity that was off limits to me. Years later my Dad apologized to me, but I doubt I'll ever really get over it

*HUGS* I know I certainly haven't.  The year was 1976.  I was six years old.  I was *obsessed* with hockey.  I could name almost every player on my 3 favourite teams (Montreal, Boston, Vancouver), and I knew a lot about the game even by that age.  I wanted to play hockey.  So, soooo bad.  'Girls don't play hockey' I was told by my parents, and it was suggested that I play Ringette.  There's nothing wrong with Ringette, but it's not hockey, and I'm afraid my six-year-old self was pretty tactless in expressing my distaste for the idea.   So I never got to play ANY team sport, ever.

Granted, there was no girls' hockey in my neighbourhood, and things hadn't advanced to the point where they'd let girls join the boys' teams.  The only good thing that happened was my grandfather, sympathetic to my disappointment, got me a real hockey helmet for Christmas.  Best Christmas ever.

But I'm still not over the crushing disappointment of learning that my sex meant there were things I wasn't allowed to do, just because I was a girl.  I've had a problem with being female ever since.  :-\
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: GrammarNerd on January 31, 2013, 08:56:54 AM
My son (11 now) started out in an all-boys tap class when he was 5.  I was told from early on that he seemed to really have a feel for it.  Eventually, they added all-boys jazz.  Cool.  Then I started talking with a friend who had a daughter his age, and she was telling me about a hip hop class, but there were all girls in it.  We started late, and I MADE him go sit and watch for a time (arranged this with the dance school).  Then, apart from this, he decided he wanted some item for school that cost $5.  He could borrow one from the school, but he wanted his own.  Fine, I told him, I'd buy it for him if he went to the hip hop class and actually participated for the next 4 weeks (end of the first term).  He did, and the rest was history.  He initially said that he wouldn't do the recital, and I said fine (warned the instructor, who said she would work on him.)  Never heard another peep about the recital until he came up and told me nonchalantly that he was doing an 8 count SOLO in the recital!  I mean....DUDE!!  And boy, did that kid get the cheers when he was out there freestyling in his little solo. 

(As an aside, all I have to do when talking with other dance parents is say "I have the boy" and people know instantly who my kid is.  It's kinda fun.  One mom told me that when her daughter saw my son in her class, she told her mom "Mom, there's a DUDE in my class!"  LOL)

That kid loves the girls, and the girls love him.  He's just that type of boy.  And however he turns out (yes, I have heard the comments too), he'll still be a great kid.  The only problem is sleepovers....most of his friends are girls, so we can't really do the whole sleepover thing.  Oh, well.
Title: Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
Post by: Minmom3 on January 31, 2013, 12:42:11 PM
No, you can't do the sleep overs, but I've seen it where the boys stayed pretty late, and then were picked up at 10 or 11 p and went home then.  So, they got a lot of the goofy stuff to share in, but left at bedtime.  Sometimes they even came back the next morning for breakfast.  It's a work around, if distances involved are small enough.