Updated: May 27
Not too long ago, Lara Spencer, an anchor on Good Morning America, reported a story on the 6-year-old Prince George and his school schedule. Included were ballet lessons which the young Prince absolutely loves and Spencer proceeded to laugh through the report stating, “We’ll see how long that lasts.”
The insensitive comment sparked outrage among the dance community, especially from prominent male dancers in the industry. Spencer posted an apology on Instagram before filming a dedicated interview with three successful male dancers to turn her ignorance into a learning experience.
A few days later, anchors on other news channels continued with the “bullying” behavior and continued to belittle boys in dance, all while poking fun at Spencer’s heartfelt apology.
One of the male dancers with the loudest voice on this issue was Travis Wall, So You Think You Can Dance alum and Emmy-nominated choreographer. With shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars gaining huge popularity in the mainstream, you would assume that the tides are changing for boys in dance classes.
Well, apparently, that’s not the case.
It’s safe to say that boys face a lot of opposition in the dance world and many young boys quit by middle school due to the incessant teasing, even if they love it. And it seems like the outside world hasn’t changed as much as those of us in the entertainment industry might have hoped.
Here at PEP, we hire men and women to dance at your events. From heartfelt lyrical duets to upbeat jive-style partner work, you’ll see our amazing male dancers hitting the stage at your next party or company meeting.
We need to support young boys who want to dance – without them, the entertainment community would be empty.
In short, #boysdancetoo.
Things You Can Do to Support Young Male Dancers
Whether your son is begging for ballet classes or you don’t even have kids of your own but want to be encouraging, welcoming, and accepting of boy dancers, there a few things you can do:
- Share stories like this one to increase awareness of the issues facing male dancers
- Stand up and speak out against bullying if you see it happening. Especially if you have a young child who makes fun of boy dancers, it’s imperative that you teach them that this is bullying and this is not okay.
- Support your child if he’s a boy that loves to dance. Show him videos of male dancers on TV and share this story with them.
- Hire dancers for your events, meetings, and parties. More awareness in people’s everyday lives that boys dance too is an amazing way to see, in real-time, how important male dancers are to the bigger picture in entertainment.
Unfortunately, what happened on Good Morning America is far from an isolated incidence. They happen more often than you’d think in the real world and boys are being bullied and shamed for doing something they love – something that’s fun, rewarding, and masculine. Dance is so much more than many people can imagine.
Let’s all do our part to support boy dancers and all that they bring to our communities. And to all of our amazing male dancers here at PEP, we stand with you. Thank you for dancing!