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Boys Ballet Classes


Kate
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Hi

Was hoping someone might be able to recommend a good fun boys ballet class in London or Hertfordshire. My eldest son has just turned 9 and after doing street dance for a year wants to give ballet a go. He'd prefer a boys only class if possible. Any suggestions and/or advice very much appreciated

 

Kate

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Hi Kate,

 

I've heard that the West London School of Dance boys' classes are enjoyable and challenging. They have more than one level/age group, I think, and are on Thursday evenings. I know several younger boys who *love* them and they take absolute beginners.

 

Also, London Junior Ballet are auditioning for Sept quite soon and they have separate classes for boys too.

 

Hope this helps!

Marianne

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Hi, Tring Park do a boys dance day in May I believe (call them they are very approachable). My son did this several times when he was younger and they were great for boys to be with like minded boys. They do a ballet class, jazz and possible tap. They have some male teachers do a question and answer session which is helpfull too. At lunch time the boys dash outside and play football! For the Saturday/evening classes they usually put boys together if possible, e.g. a grade 1 and a grade 2 boy may be put in the grade 2 class so that they are not the only ones was my experience. They also do a boys scholarship on the Boys dance day. Check out the website. Unfortunately he'll have to get used to being one of the few, but it does have many advantages!

 

Also check out doing English Youth Ballet productions as they always select a small group of boys and that was an excellent experience - plus being taught by a man combined with talks on dance belts etc, which sorted out the whole 'issue' as it came from a 'proper' male dancer.

 

I hope you find something.

 

Fx

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I cannot recommend enough Tring Park... they run a BOYS Kickstart programme one a month (term-time)... my son has been attending for the last two years and has found it an invaluable part of his training. Link attached:

 

http://www.tringpark.com/reach4dance-outreach-and-community/days-of-dance

 

They are boy only classes, and where possible they try to have male teachers as well.. their day can be spent doing a variety of dance inc Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, muscial theatre, etc. There is no audition.. you just fill out the forms and send in for each term and at only £15 for the whole day its 'priceless' in my opinion.

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My youngest son used to go to the boys' class once a month at Tring - just ballet at that point (he stopped just before they changed it). Loved it - so nice to have somewhere to go with a good male teacher and other boys, as he was the only boy in his class locally. Excellent value and I didn't mind the (nearly) hour's drive as it was only once a month!

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London Russian Ballet School has a boys class - often this runs every day, and certain days are more suitable for the younger boys (9-10). My son went there for a while.

 

But it is in Clapham, so it would be a bit of a hike from Hertfordshire.

 

Otherwise keep an eye out for boys only 'specials' run by the London Children's Ballet.Those have finished now for the spring, but take place on Sundays in Fulham and this year were taken by Benett Gartside, a Royal Ballet Senior Soloist.

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My friend took her son to classes far enough away from home so that there wouldn't be anyone there who knew him from his school...

 

 

:(

 

things WILL change... hopefully. My son didn't mind doing tap and modern with girls from his school, but wanted to do ballet a little further away. As he got older (9-10), he was less worried about people knowing. The more schemes like the ROH 'chance to dance' and the RBS 'Primary Steps' the better.

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It isn't always peer pressure either. My dd used to go to gymnastics (yes, I know, she stopped ages ago!) and there was a boy there who I thought had huge ballet potential. I mentioned it to his mum and she seemed really keen - until I saw her the next week. Apparently she talked to his dad who said "You must be joking, I'n not having any son of mine doing b***** ballet!"

 

What a pity.

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I often had mums of girls in my son's ballet class (when they were about 8 or 9) saying "What does your husband think about him doing ballet?" Well fortunately my husband's a normal human being and didn't see it as any different to doing any other sport or activity.

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Thanks all for these great suggestions- have to say I was very pleasantly surprised that my son has asked to try ballet classes. It is a sad fact that there is still prejudice against boys doing ballet. My son loves dance classes and we go often to see productions, but he says that he doesn't tell anyone at school for fear of them making for of him :( Thankfully this hasn't stopped him from wanting to go, but it is a shame that he has to hide his passions from his peers. Hopefully things will continue to change for the better. My 3 year old is already asking to go dancing with his brother so fingers crossed that the next generation will be more enlightened!

 

My own ballet teacher did wonderful boys classes but sadly she passed away last year (not to mention that the school is up in in Yorkshire!)

 

Once again thanks for all these recommendations-will hopefully try and get him in somewhere soon.

 

Best wishes

 

Kate

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On the subject of boys getting hassle for dancing, I once heard an older boy tell a story about his classmates teasing him for doing ballet. He apparently said "Well I spend most evenings surrounded by beautiful girls in leotards and they all think I'm great. What do you do after school?" I bet that gave the teenage bullies something to think about!

Edited by Pups_mum
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I spent one summer teaching ballet at a boy's sports camp. Every week the boys did a different sport - and one week - though not a sport - I was asked to teach them ballet.

 

So, here's the picture - a large group of 10-12 yr olds, full of energy, with the last thing on their minds - ballet. I showed up in my leotard, tights, black teaching skirt, hair up, old pointe shoes on. And, being the only female (and an adult female) around that meant I was "invisible" to that age group.

 

The class took place in a large gym (basketball court). I brought with me a large metal yardstick. I walked in - went right up to a metal stool and smashed the yard stick as hard as I could against it. The ferocious clang echoing through the huge room startled them and everyone fell silent.

 

I held the yardstick on the floor pointing straight up and I said: "Dancer Rudolph Nureyev can jump higher than this - straight up from the ground. Now, if you can jump higher you don't need to take this class. Anyone want to try?"

 

Of course, I immediately had a line of boys who couldn't wait to try. I also had their attention for the rest of the week and we all had a lot of fun and (hopefully) learned something.

 

Boys have to be taught differently - the music is different, the timing is different, and their entire goal is different than girls. They really do need their own class.

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  • 1 year later...

I cannot recommend enough Tring Park... they run a BOYS Kickstart programme one a month (term-time)... my son has been attending for the

last two years and has found it an invaluable

part of his training. Link attached:

 

http://www.tringpark.com/reach4dance-

outreach-and-community/days-of-dance

 

 

They are boy only classes, and where possible they try to have male teachers as well.. their

day can be spent doing a variety of dance inc

Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, muscial theatre, etc.

There is no audition.. you just fill out the forms

and send in for each term and at only £15 for

the whole day its 'priceless' in my opinion.

 

 

It's a topic from last year but I hope I can get some more information.

My DS enjoyed the Access All Areas workshop on Tring so much that he asked for more.

 

I'm thinking about him joining the kickstart programme for boys in September. I can't call the school till tomorrow afternoon so I hope that someone can tell me more about it. What time does it start and for how many hours does it

last? How old are the boys? How many in a group etc. Thank you.

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Hi Happy Mum,

 

My son is nearly 18 now so doesnt attend any more.. but I dont think that the format has changed.  1 Saturday each term for the whole day (if you are one of the older boys -  the younger ones finish around lunchtime) cant remember if it was a 0900 or 1000 start??

 

They had around 3/4 groups of boys that were split mainly according to age... anywhere from 5/6yrs up to 16yrs. 

 

When my son attended there seemed more boys in the younger age groups and fewer in the older group.

 

Hope this helps.

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OK, I've called the school and asked about it. Maybe there are other parents or DS interested so here it is:

 

Kickstart programme for boys at Tring Park

 

There are still places for September entry

Classes start at 10am

Classes are 1 hour up to 1h15min long each

There are 4 classes a day: ballet, jazz, musical theatre (singing) and street dance

Mainly male teachers

One term costs £45

3 classes each term (on Saturday once a month)

Minimum age 7

 

Hope it is useful.

My DS's ballet teacher has just booked a place for him :-)

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  • 8 months later...

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