Boys in Dance
I am so excited to be a second-time dance mum with my son starting Itty Bitty Ballet this year! Unlike my daughter, he is very into diggers, trucks, cranes, planes and especially mowers (cheers to our neighbours who let us come watch their lawns being mowed! Hours of fun!). I am the first to argue that there’s no such thing as “girls interests” or “boys interests”, but my two children have naturally gravitated in very different directions with their early interests. However, I had no hesitation in signing him up for dance classes! Why? Dance classes offer numerous benefits for boys, both physical and mental.
Firstly, dance is a great form of exercise, and it’s a fun way to stay active. For an active boy, I want him to experience all types of movement, PLUS the added bonus of moving to music will keep him actively engaged for the thirty minute class. Dancing helps boys develop their coordination, balance, and flexibility, which can translate to improved performance in other sports – if you’ll allow me to “nerd out” on you for a minute, dance shares what we call an affordance landscape with some sports which means it will help develop skills and movement patterns associated with both. A great example of this is boxer Harry Garside, who made headlines for taking ballet classes to help his agility, footwork and speed in the ring! Additionally, dance can help boys improve their posture and build core strength, which can reduce the risk of injury.
Dance classes also provide a creative outlet for boys. Dancing allows us to express ourselves through movement, and it can help develop their artistic abilities. Furthermore, dance can help us build confidence and improve our self-esteem. Boys who dance learn to move with grace and precision, which can help them feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Finally, dance classes can help boys develop social skills. Dancing is often a group activity, and boys (and girls!) who dance learn to work together as a team. Dancers often form close friendships with their fellow dancers, and they learn to communicate effectively with others. In particular, I’m interested in the listening skills my son will develop by participating in a class environment – hello, turn-taking and sharing!
Growing up, I was lucky enough to dance at a studio with lots of wonderful young men, some of whom I’m still friends with, and I am so excited to see lots of young men growing up dancing with us here at Bayside Dance!
9 February 2024