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boys classes for nearly 6 year old


balletmummy
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I wonder if anyone can be of any help...

 

My ds who is  coming up to 6, has grown up watching dd (now 8.5) dance since he was born! He has masses of energy and is now showing any interest in starting ballet himself.

 

Fantastic as my dd's ballet school is, I feel though, that ds would benefit far more by having a male dance teacher  as a role model and be part of a boys class, rather than being the only boy in a class of girls. He is very sensitive and could easily be put off by the girly giggling about boys doing ballet.

 

I know of the London Boys Ballet school, but we are near Gloucester, so is far too far at the moment for ds to travel. Does anyone know of any boys ballet classes for 5-6 year olds? Or does anyone have any advice? Do boys tend to start later for this very reason? Is it better to start with tap rather than ballet?

 

I don't want to quash his interest, but neither do I want him put off being the only boy in a class of girls...

 

Many thanks in advance

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In the Gloucester area you have some very good schools who would be worth talking to about your DS - it is more usual for them to start, at this age, in a mixed class where he would be accepted as 'just' another dancer. Remember that predudice usually comes at a later stage! For young dancers and their parents having a boy in the class will be exciting but in reality no different to another new dancer joining the class. You won't have to travel far to find very good schools both in Gloucester and Cheltenham with very good reputations who can help you - for example Janet Marshall and Corraine Collins would be my first points of call. Hope that helps.

 

Heather

Aka Taximom

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Two I have heard have boys but do not know for sure are Linda Virgoe Studios in Gloucester and Harlequin Stage School in Worcester (minutes from M5). Certainly Harlequin has a male teacher.  I've not seen the younger dancers at these studios myself though. I would add that I agree with other posters that I don't think being the only boy is a problem at that age and I would perhaps go with convenience to see if he likes ballet first.

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My ds was the only boy in his class for years before he started RBS JAs and Hammond Associate classes. It hasn't been a problem and life is a lot easier if your children are at the same dance school, and that isn't far from home. The RAD boys only weekends were very good for having male teachers and dancing with other boys, and also EYB - well worth attending. I can't remember what age they start at - probably 8, but do check.

 

Tap has definitely been a favourite for my ds, but I've used it as an incentive to keep the ballet going at low moments - ballet is the basic, additional dance classes can only be on top - tap, jazz, theatre dance etc. Also we upgraded his tap shoes to nice Bloch ones just as he went to secondary school, so he had something good to encourage him not to give up if he faced comments from new "friends".

 

Hope he has a great time dancing!

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Harlequin stage school in Worcester are very good and have a number of young boys. If you want to travel to us - Worcester, then it is easy to find Harlequin my DD's ld dance school but at your sons age the 2 I mentioned would be good to research to avoid the travel. Paul, the Principle of Harlequin, sends her older students to one of these two schools to take their student teacher exams and all 3 of them studied together at Bird college I think!

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Also, again perhaps this might be more important as your DS gets older (if he's still into his dancing) Jago Studios also in Worcester has a male principal who does a lot of the modern/jazz/MT work and ballet is taught by an RAD examiner.

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My son started ballet at 5. He has been the only boy in dance school since he was 7 and has never had a moment of doubt being with a group of girls - in fact he loves it! At 12 I realised he wasn't getting enough allegro and turns, more to do with the teacher, as the girls weren't getting enough either! At 14 he is now off to Tring Park school and still loves all the extra fuss he gets as a boy dancing. Most important is the quality of teaching, the advice in an earlier post about finding a teacher who is excited to have a boy in class is crucial.

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