Social Question

Rangie's avatar

Do you think putting a young male child in dance classes, is harmful to him in any ways?

Asked by Rangie (3656points) April 19th, 2010

Is that little boy likely to suffer the teasing and harassment of other boys? Is he more apt to be somewhat of a “sissy”? How would you help to avoid that type of treatment for him. When my granddaughters were in dance, there was one little boy, and I often wondered if he was having any problems.

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34 Answers

alive's avatar

2 words: Billie Elliot

(all kids are teased for different things, but if a kid likes to dance…. it would make him happier to dance than to shy away)

Likeradar's avatar

It’s harmful if he doesn’t want to do it.

If he does want to, it can have all sorts of positive physical effects, and send him the message that who he is and what he wants to do will be supported.

Other kids might give him a hard time… but some kids can find something about anyone to pick on.

IBERnineD's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with involving a child in an activity that teaches them to express themselves. He would discover something he could connect to. He would also learn how to work on a team when putting on a performance. Learn to trust himself and his choices when doing a solo. Even gain confidence by being in front of an audience reguarly.
Sure he may get teased, but @alive is right, so do a lot of people. And regardless with dance he may be able to work out his frustrations from such treatment.

Another note, he would get all the ladies, I mean the ratio would be killer.

EDIT: And dance is becoming more and more popular these days anyhow. So, being a male dancer doesn’t have the same stigma it used to.

Axemusica's avatar

Just counter act it’s effect by putting him in Brazilian Ju-Jistu as well. I’m pretty sure they won’t make fun of him after he submits a few kids.

kevbo's avatar

One thing I would do is ensure that there are “masculine” forms or styles of dance available and that it’s not all by women for girls with a token boy.

I love dance as an art form, but found that aspect a roadblock for me getting too interested. It was beyond my comfort zone (although I wish it wasn’t).

janbb's avatar

Of course not if he wants to do it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

No way would I avoid putting any of my children into any of the arts because of what other kids may say – they will live a full life despite comments and ignorant children of others. My son was in a dance class briefly at the same school where I danced as a child and there was zero teasing going on – I do think this is because it was a Russian school and in Russian men doing things like dance or figure skating aren’t looked up on as ‘sissy’ or ‘gay’ things to do – it actually adds to the attractiveness of men, it’s a definite cultural difference. However, even if he was in an American school here in NY for dance, I don’t think many people would say that within the dance school (it’s NYC, after all, people are evolved). If someone outside would say that, they’d say that about anything – his long hair, his colorful clothing, whatever and I’d tell him they’re idiots. There was a friend of mine in yoga who said ‘dance class?! Don’t you think he’ll end up being a sissy?’ and I gave her such a look, she never mentioned it again.

Rangie's avatar

@IBERnineD The boy I refer to was 2½ when he started, at the same time my granddaughters did. He grew along with them until High School. They went to competition dance and he seemed to enjoy the interaction with all of the girls. That is what I thought too, what a great position to be in if you are a young man.
But, I do wonder of the boys that are 2 and don’t really know if that is what they want or not, as they are really too young. But, I have seen mothers pushing their children to do this, all while they are resisting with tears. It makes you want to interfere and tell the mother to step back and look at what she is doing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie I would tell them to stop only if any kid of theirs (any gender) would be crying constantly. I don’t think it’s right to push them to do things before they’re ready and I don’t think it matters whatsoever what they’re doing when they’re 2 – I think they should be exposed to music, dance, art, and physical activity – what they choose to do is up to them, you pick on things they like…right now we’re doing Music Together classes where they dance and play instruments and my husband and I are right there along with them…this summer the 4 year old will try swimming and we know he likes to ice-skate so we might try figure skating or ice hockey in the fall…

IBERnineD's avatar

@Rangie I speak from experience since I danced competitively for about 7 years. Oddly enough my school had a surplus of dancers who were male. Needless to say at competitions we would have to escort them to the bathroom just so they would be able to do there business and get back in time to warm up for a show. I had a friend who had girls crying when they saw him, no joke. It was absurd.
And as for forcing a child, I don’t think that is a good idea at all. If that was the case I wouldn’t recommend it. However if they were interested I would be happy and support them.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with the majority of people of above that the child should not be forced. I also dont think that it makes boys more prone to being “sissy’s” although yes they might get teased, especially if it is ballet, and especially depending where they live. I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir that in NYC non-issue, in Nebraska maybe it is an issue. But still, who gives a shit?! If the kid is happy and enjoys dance those closed minded narrow people can just take a flying leap. And, since I love ballet and almost all dance, and I personally know the physical strength, posture, confidence, discipline, and awareness it gives the individual of the placement of their body, there is no validity to the sissy name calling.

I think it good to expose your children to many different things, and then reinforce their own preferences. I don’t think you should force your children to stick with something once they have given it a try.

Rangie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I truly believe in exposure to all sorts of things. Our girls started out in Gymnastics. They didn’t like it, but we noticed they were gravitating to dance classes across the room. That was their next stop. They stayed with it from age 2½ until 15. Now they are in sports. It is my belief the training they got with dance, helped with self-discipline, teamwork, taking instruction, muscle toning, gracefulness, etc., is now helpful in their sports. The 16 year old is a dedicated basketball player. She is 6’1” and seriously working for a scholarship to Stanford. The 17 year old does not plan on going any further with track, but will continue to run and stay healthy.
It is my opinion that their positive desires for their futures, started with dance.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Rangie Same with me – they put me to dance at 3 years old and I never stopped

MissAnthrope's avatar

My thought here is that kids should not be taught to shy away from “different” activities if that’s what they’re interested in. If he wants to dance, then he should dance. Then, if he gets teased, that actually opens up a beautiful dialogue about differentness, gender roles, insecurity, etc. Kids should be encouraged to follow their interests and passions, even if it’s not what other kids of the same gender choose to do (likely for fear of teasing, which is not a very good reason IMO). It’s great to be different and to do the things that make you happy.

On the other side of the coin, if I had a daughter that wanted to play football, I would totally encourage her to do so, even if it’s a more difficult road than if she wanted to play volleyball, for example. I want to teach my kids to do the things they’re driven to do and to not listen to stupid, narrow-minded people.

bob_'s avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Well, damn, you must be very tired! XD

andrew's avatar

@Rangie I took dance as a young kid.

Socializing with girls that early has put me at a great advantage with women later in my life.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Does the child want to do it or is dance a parental decision?

janbb's avatar

@andrew Is that why you’re such a girlie man? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

faye's avatar

Fred Astaire.

anartist's avatar

How is Prince Harry doing?

Rangie's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy That is the question. I think the parent can cause more problems than others. After all the parent is with the child more than anybody. I watched a mother forcing her child to dance. Not a boy, but it is still cruel pressure. I know what it is to do something you don’t like or don’t want to do. I think we all experience a very small pressure from our parents to do something, but forcing a young boy to dance is a little too much.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My 8 year old cousin came out of his shell after starting dance and drama classes and he is bullied less now than he was due to his rise in confidence. He is slightly more effeminate (sp?) than his younger brother who is more into martial arts but, even if it is the dance and drama club that has brought out his more sensitive side, I certainly don’t consider this to be harmful to him. He’s a much happier child than he was only 6 months ago.

PacificToast's avatar

Does he like to dance? Maybe you could put him in a “manly” activity such as Boy Scouts. Or would that counter productive…

dpworkin's avatar

I’m pretty sure he can catch homosity. You don’t want a queer kid, do you?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Give all your queer kids to me.

Axemusica's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir lol, um, that doesn’t sound right either.

Rangie's avatar

I am talking about harmful teasing and harassment. Not life style, which you seem to be making fun of.

tinyfaery's avatar

Take this from a former dancer. Straight, male dancers get a lot of play. Just sayin’.

faye's avatar

I think other boys might tease him, but if he can also play some sports or run or do some kind of ‘boy’ stuff he should be fine. I know a very happy 20 yr old straight male who was in dance. He is also into drums and guitars.

Rangie's avatar

@faye I agree that would help prevent some teasing, but also round out the boy. And in fact, it is my belief that dance makes for a better athlete.

YARNLADY's avatar

Children get tease each other about anything and everything. A very young child will show by his behavior whether he enjoys what he is doing or not. If he does, it does not matter whether it’s dancing or running or what ever. Most of the children’s programs I see on TV include men and boys as well as women and girls dancing.

JeffVader's avatar

I suspect he’d be highly likely to get a daily beating.

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