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Old 07-19-2020, 10:35 PM
 
8,635 posts, read 5,116,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westside Mommy View Post
My DS is 8 and was loving the ballet class he started in September... before it was interrupted he became good friends with another boy who is quite popular at the dance class and I have become quite close with his mom too. One day, when no one else was around the dance studio she happened to blurt out that her son wears girls' underwear... he just finds the panties softer, more comfortable and perfect for when he does ballet.

I was surprised she would tell me this randomly and I just smiled. But when I got over my shock a little later, I realized that I want my son to be open-minded and open-hearted to classmates who are different. We will take a trip out to Brooklyn to visit them this week because we miss them...

I don't think it is a big deal if my son finds ballet more comfortable in panties like his friend. The boys are only 8. My DH, unfortunately, is concerned this is making him too feminine and because of some bullies in DS' class who have begun teasing him about being a boy dancer. How would you have reacted when the mom's friend told us what he wears?
I don't buy the wearing-female-underwear-is-more-comfortable thing. Female underwear is maybe more often made with a silky, thinner material than male underwear, whereas male underwear is more often made with cotton or cotton blend, isn't it? I wouldn't think that makes one or the other more comfortable. I think that other mother is naiive or sending you a signal that her son may be transgender or whatever.

As for the stigma of your son being a ballet dancer, we had one boy in junior high who took ballet. That was in the 60s in the deep south. Yes, everyone assumed he was gay (although we didn't know the word for it). And yes, he was in fact gay, as it turned out. I never heard of any incidents of him being teased or beaten up or anything by other boys, but there must have been incidents, given the decade and where we lived. But he was very secure and outgoing, and tall. He was able to handle being different. He was the only boy in my whole school experience that I ever knew took ballet. It was very rare.

It's probably still assumed that boy ballet dancers are gay. The difference these days may be that it's okay to be gay, whereas back in the 60s, it wasn't accepted by many. But because so many male ballet dancers are gay, it's assumed they're gay, unless it's made clear otherwise. Whether that's a problem depends on your how your son and your family feel about that assumption. I wouldn't call that a stigma, since it's not wrong to be gay. It's more of an assumption. And then there's the issue of whether your son is, in fact, gay. Because if he is, any assumption of that is fine, since it would be true.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:08 PM
 
8,635 posts, read 5,116,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
If your son wants a positive male role model in a ballet dancer, have him look up Andre Eglevsky. He was a Russian-born, very muscular ballet dancer who choreographed the movie Limelight for Charlie Chaplin. He was also the father of my first orthopedic doctor. There's also Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev, and Vaslav Nijinsky - all very male and straight. These would all be good role models for your son if he truly likes ballet.
Nijinsky was bisexual. Nureyev was gay.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:30 PM
 
8,635 posts, read 5,116,280 times
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The fact that ballet dancers are very fit, and the males are muscular, is neither here nor there. Dancers of all types are very physically fit. Male ballet dancers are generally assumed to be gay, because I've read most are. That is not really a problem, as far as problems go, unless that really bothers someone. It didn't bother Mikhail Barishnikov, I guess.

If it is a problem for your family, there are other types of dance, like tap and modern. Think Gene Kelly (who had been a gymnast), Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, Bob Fosse, Patrick Swayze.

Patrick Swayze took classical ballet lessons, and also took martial arts, and played football. No one can say Swayze was feminized by the ballet lessons! But then he also did the macho sports.

All the dance forms are wonderful, IMO. All are good for forming a fit, healthy body, and good habits for a healthy life, I think.
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Old 07-20-2020, 08:46 AM
 
33,855 posts, read 22,580,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westside Mommy View Post
My DS is 8 and was loving the ballet class he started in September... before it was interrupted he became good friends with another boy who is quite popular at the dance class and I have become quite close with his mom too. One day, when no one else was around the dance studio she happened to blurt out that her son wears girls' underwear... he just finds the panties softer, more comfortable and perfect for when he does ballet.

I was surprised she would tell me this randomly and I just smiled. But when I got over my shock a little later, I realized that I want my son to be open-minded and open-hearted to classmates who are different. We will take a trip out to Brooklyn to visit them this week because we miss them...

I don't think it is a big deal if my son finds ballet more comfortable in panties like his friend. The boys are only 8. My DH, unfortunately, is concerned this is making him too feminine and because of some bullies in DS' class who have begun teasing him about being a boy dancer. How would you have reacted when the mom's friend told us what he wears?

Make your husband watch "Billy Elliot" this weekend, it's probably free on many venues. This is the exact plot of the movie, and it's a terrific movie too.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:57 AM
 
Location: The ghetto
10,384 posts, read 3,677,704 times
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I agree with BirdieBelle.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:00 PM
 
Location: ⭕
2,096 posts, read 1,407,371 times
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In sports we wear a cup or other support to prevent injury. Wouldn't a male ballet dancer need support for his genitals to prevent injury while landing from the leaping around? Maybe the girls underwear are tighter to hold things in place better than boys underwear.

Otherwise it was case of TMI.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:16 PM
 
86 posts, read 19,266 times
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Anyway OP, I'm glad your son enjoys ballet. It's a beautiful art form. As others here have said, don't discourage him. As for your initial question regarding how to respond to the other parent, I'd just say "Oh, that's interesting...thank you" and leave it at that (assuming you want to drop that particular matter).
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
15,296 posts, read 14,842,602 times
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Dancers are the most highly trained athletes in the world. Try holding a 140 lb. ballerina over your head and gliding across a stage on tiptoe.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:58 PM
 
8,635 posts, read 5,116,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Dancers are the most highly trained athletes in the world. Try holding a 140 lb. ballerina over your head and gliding across a stage on tiptoe.
One of the requirements of a ballerina is that she be reed thin, so she can seemingly float on tippy toes across stage and be as light as possible to lift. Margot Fonteyn weighed less than 115#. I've read the avg ballerina weighs about 110#.

Modern male dancers also lift the females. Tap dancers, not usually.

I love ballet, and it does require strength & stamina, but as an art form, it's no more creative than the other forms, IMO. In fact, maybe less so, since it involves only certain types of movements and is steeped in tradition in only certain kinds of moves. Besides jazz & modern dance, and tap, there's also the Irish type used in Riverdancing, clog dancing, and other more casual types.

Gene Kelly was such a good modern dancer because of his gymnast background, so he had the strength and flexibility to do any type of dance, incl. a bit of ballet.

All dancing is great! Life wouldn't be worth living without a little dancing, is my motto. And you can be in a wheelchair and still dance! It's wonderful that any child is interested in dancing, whichever kind he chooses (why choose only one kind?). It's better than sitting inside playing computer games.

Let's take it on out with the famous Nicholas brothers tap dancers and Fonteyn/Nureyev famous Swan Lake.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBQOfyR75vY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDB8fV9PVTU

Last edited by bpollen; 07-20-2020 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 07-20-2020, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
5,287 posts, read 2,310,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
The fact that ballet dancers are very fit, and the males are muscular, is neither here nor there. Dancers of all types are very physically fit. Male ballet dancers are generally assumed to be gay, because I've read most are. That is not really a problem, as far as problems go, unless that really bothers someone. It didn't bother Mikhail Barishnikov, I guess.

If it is a problem for your family, there are other types of dance, like tap and modern. Think Gene Kelly (who had been a gymnast), Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, Bob Fosse, Patrick Swayze.

Patrick Swayze took classical ballet lessons, and also took martial arts, and played football. No one can say Swayze was feminized by the ballet lessons! But then he also did the macho sports.

All the dance forms are wonderful, IMO. All are good for forming a fit, healthy body, and good habits for a healthy life, I think.


Ballet is considered to be the foundation of all dance forms. It is also required training for competitive gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic) and figure skating.
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