I want to put my son in dance

20 Aug

Tomorrow, after a year-long hiatus, I’ll be reunited with my “other kids” when I start teaching Musical Theatre Dance again. I’ve become something of a specialist in teaching beginners. This is because I don’t like the elitist tinge dance has acquired. Elitist as in, only highly skilled, artistic individuals that start training at age 3 need apply. I truly believe everyone can (and should) dance, and I preach that passionately.

Given this, it’s hardly shocking that I want any child of mine to be exposed to dance. Or that I will not be deterred by the fact that my child is male. (One could argue that Baby T already has been exposed, in a way).

I am prepared for an uphill battle. The only boy students in all the ballet schools I’ve danced or taught in have been the children of a teacher, and I hate to be a stereotype.  There’s always a chance he’ll totally hate it too (tear out my heart!).

Of course, I wouldn’t force him to do something he didn’t want to do. But I do want him to try everything. (When I was a kid, my dad signed me up for soccer. It was not the worst spring of my life. I really perfected my daisy chain-making skills during all the bench time. But that was in second grade…who’s to say that if I’d started a little earlier, things wouldn’t have been different?)

The minute T made his debut it was obvious that his desire to be mobile far outpaced his physical ability to be so. That hasn’t really changed; he still cries in frustration when he wants to run but knows he’ll fall down if he tries. He loves to smack his music player and beebop along to the beat. He’s not really singular in this. The fact that babies love to dance supports my dance-for-all mantra.

Look, I don’t wish I’d had a girl. I don’t want T in tights. I just want him to move. I want to see him fly across the stage and jump high in the air, and see his smile morph his face into a heart shape (This really happens).  Why not just put him in some other kind of highly physical activity, like Pee Wee football, you say? Dance is the only athletic activity that is emotive; in other words, it’s a physical, exterior representation of abstract inner life. (One might argue that football encourages the opposite…ever heard the admonishment to “leave it in the locker room?”). P is actually on board with this. And that is why, next year when he’s really walking well, I’ll be signing us up for Mommy & Me.

Judge away.

(Below: “Angry Dance” from Billy Elliot the Musical)

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One Response to “I want to put my son in dance”

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  1. Balance | Cushion Cut - June 20, 2013

    […] mind, we’re not even talking macho macho man here. This is a guy that is totally OK with T taking dance lessons and eating off the pink […]

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