Victoria Academy of Ballet is opening their doors to encourage dance education for boys. Thanks to a bursary program from the Victoria Academy of Ballet Scholarship Society, boys ages 7 to 11 can now partake in a free boys class starting in September 2016.
The “Boys Can Dance” program will be taught by Andrew Pronger, a former professional ballet dancer with the Queensland Ballet in Australia and Principal of Victoria Academy of Ballet. He hopes to inspire the next generation of male dancers by encouraging athleticism, strength, artistry and the joy of movement in the Boys Can Dance participants. The class will be a mix of ballet, contemporary and jazz and will be an energy filled and engaging hour. Pronger hopes to bring in senior male students to the class to act as role models for the younger students as well.
“I actually started dancing because the studio in my home town of Bundaberg, a small country town, offered a free dance class for boys,” Pronger says. “There were eight of us in the class and four of us ended up eventually going on to professional careers in dance.”
While the stereotype of dance being effeminate still exists, the stigma is slowly dissipating. Many hockey and football players do ballet to help with flexibility, coordination and agility. The public is beginning to see the strength and athleticism that is required by male dancers to leap, turn and lift their female counter parts in the air.
“Our 11 year old son is an avid rugby and baseball player and certainly enjoys his sports activities. However, he also is passionate about his dance program at VAB,” says John Boehme. “The inclusive and supportive environment significantly impacts the development of his self esteem and leadership ability. Dance lessons influence him in so many ways: physical activity which is both dynamic and fun. We are very pleased to enthusiastically support the Boys Can Dance program.”
Victoria Academy of Ballet had their highest number of males students this year with 12 boys ranging from age 4 to 21.
If you know a future Baryshnikov who might be interested in the Boys Can Dance program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org