Author Topic: Boy in ballet, he must be....  (Read 12858 times)

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D-Banana

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Boy in ballet, he must be....
« on: January 18, 2013, 08:19:56 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.
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wonderfullyanonymous

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 08:25:22 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.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 08:27:19 PM by wonderfullyanonymous »

FoxPaws

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 08:26:14 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.
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Just Lori

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 08:27:22 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 08:27:30 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.

gramma dishes

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 08:30:53 PM »
P.S.  Dancing, especially ballet, requires more skill, stamina and brute strength than most sports anyway.

MOM21SON

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 08:37:46 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.

AnnaJane

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 08:42:28 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.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 08:42:38 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.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 08:50:38 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.
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Coruscation

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 08:59:44 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?

CookieChica

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 09:04:13 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).

gmama

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 09:18:52 PM »
I'd reply, "You should ask Mikhail Baryshnikov what he thinks of that theory".

baconsmom

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 09:25:13 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.
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Roe

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Re: Boy in ballet, he must be....
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 09:35:36 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.