Today there was a boy in my ballet class!
A real, live man. Dancing.
Now, I know we all know that men do ballet. We’ve all laughed and wept our way through Billy Elliot, and been impressed by pictures of the likes of Rudolf Nureyev and Carlos Acosta leaping across the stage. But despite all of that, in the world of amateur dance, men are in the absolute minority
At the dance school where I grew up I knew of three male dancers in the 11 years I was there: one of them was the teacher’s son, and he gave up at around ten; another was a boy of a similar age, who had a twin sister who was in the same class as him; and the last of the three was a grown-up man who joined one of the advanced classes that I took, and was unusual in the fact that he was a dancer, and that he was a giant (maybe 6’7”?), and that he always wore a kilt as everyday dress.
Anyway, it is pretty unusual, but it’s always fun to have men in a class. Physiologically men are able to do much better jumps and turns than woman, so it’s a lot of fun to watch them leap in a way that they seem to find effortless, and the rest of us can’t hope to achieve.
Oh, and, we did my absolute favourite step this evening: demi-contretemps assemblé élancé. I’m all about jumps anyway (definitely my favourite part of class) and this one is the perfect combination of little and precise, followed by big and powerful.
In summary: dancing man.