My kids are dancers. At least, my bio-babies are dancers. Billy-Bob, Belle, Gil, and Little-Louie all take ballet. Three of the four take tap and two take jazz. All four are were in The Nutcracker this past December and they will all be in Cinderella this spring.
I know. We're not normal. The dance school is not teaming with boys, although there are a few more signing up since they met my boys and saw that they're 'normal.' (Boy, do we have them fooled!!) Billy-Bob, at 11, is the one who's had most opportunity to face down mean comments. Surprisingly, he's handled them with ease. "Hey, I'm the only boy in a room full of beautiful girls in leotards and tights. And, I'll get to put my hands on them eventually. Momma didn't raise no fool!" He said that at 10. Or maybe even 9. Been keeping my eye on him since that remark. But he's found that that's logic most boys won't argue with.
When we started B.B. and Gil in ballet, it was with a purpose. B.B. has mild Asperger's and was both uncoordinated and had a hard time controlling his actions in public. We hoped ballet would give him some coordination and self-control. No way did we actually expect him to be good at it. Coordination and self-control. That was it. But, turns out, the kid has some talent. And some God-given physical attributes that many ballerinas would gladly kill for. B.B. has perfect turn-out and Gil has near perfect. Little Louie, it looks like, has been blessed with the same. B.B. and Gil are both nice and lean, have beautiful feet and nice hands. No awkward clumping around for my boys. Rhythm, not so much. Definitely got dad's side of the genes there. But they're getting there. Because they want it. A life of activity, being treated like you're made of gold and surrounding yourself with cute little ballerinas ain't a bad deal and they're realizing that.
Will the boys keep on dancing? I'm asked that question all the time. All. The. Time. Most often by my very concerned, clueless father-in-law. He thinks taking ballet will make them gay. He was reassured when B.B. invited his 'girlfriend' to his 11th birthday. I honestly don't know if they'll keep dancing. I ask them regularly if they want to continue. So far they do. Although Gil, when he's having a prickly fit, will say he wants to quit Right Now. But they all enjoy it so far and it's giving them the ability to carry themselves like royalty, something that will help them as adults. Would you rather hire the guy who holds his head up and looks confident or the guy who slouches into the office and trips over the chair? We'll take it one year at a time, one show at a time. And we'll see. But for now, I'm super proud of my boys and their dancing feet!