The Boys are Bringing it Back
When people say ballet, they often think of pink tutus and girls with their hair in buns. Since 2008 there have been no more than two male dancers per grade in Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA). However, this year’s freshmen dance class has broken the spell and there are three very talented male dancers along with 21 female freshmen dancers.
“I feel that breaking the stereotype of a male dancer is amazing. It showed me that even though it might not be the talk of the day, it makes me feel like I have a part in this world. I am able to show people you can do anything you put your mind to,” stated Christian, one of the freshmen dancers.
Being one of only three male dancers often has it challenges in an FSSA freshman dance class. Branden, one of the three male freshmen dancers, stated that constantly having eyes on him while the teachers expect him to do well can often create pressure. Another challenge male dancers often face is being viewed as “non-masculine.”
“As a male dancers, we are often not recognized by the public as a masculine figure or being ridiculed for dancing,” said Anthony, another freshmen male dancer.
Christian even feels overlooked for certain roles in dance because he doesn’t fit the criteria.
Being a male dancer often has its advantages, too. Oftentimes simply being a male can give the dancer certain opportunities.
“One advantage I feel is being noticed more when I dance because there are so many girls, so when you see a guy in class you stand out a lot to a teacher or judge in an audition,” said Anthony.
However, unlike the lower classmen the senior dance majors do not have boys in their classes.
“I feel like it closes a lot of doors to certain things because we can no longer do duets between a man and woman, but at the same time it also opens up doors to creativity. Now we are a class with all female dancers and the real question is what can we really do now, like girl power sort of thing,” stated Agata Krapa, a senior dance major.
Having male dancers in dance pieces can often change the visual presentation, the mood, and the message in dance pieces. Emily Rosenberg, senior instrumental major, believes having a male dancer can give the piece a different element. They can help portray different roles.
“Even if I don’t know the choreography or much about the story, if it’s depicting something, it kinda changes the mood of the dance. As opposed to all female, when a male is added to the dance the message portrays slightly different.”
Male dancers are equally as important as female dancers in any professional company. Many male dancers even believe non male dancers should be jealous of them because they get to dance with pretty females all day.
– by Tiffany Luk ’15