Today’s popular stereotypes often limit our perception of ballet to something that consists only of pink tutus and pointe shoes. While ballet does require girls to be graceful and feminine, ballet also requires dedicated male dancers who exemplify strength, power and leadership in their dancing.
In an art form often dedicated to storytelling, it would be impossible to go on without the participation of both boys and girls! Moreover, the many benefits of studying ballet, available to students regardless of their long-term aspirations in dance or other unrelated fields – things like strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, discipline, musicality, and so on – are available equally to anyone who attends ballet class, girls and boys alike.
Classes and Programs
Boys can enroll in many different classes and programs at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts. Enrollment in some programs is based on age, while in other programs, prior experience in dance is required.
Starting Out with Dance (ages 3-5)
Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts programs for dancers ages 3+ take place in the Children's Dance Division and enrollment is by age. Children’s Dance Division classes give girls and boys alike a constructive space for exploring expression through movement. Ballet, tap and hip hop classes facilitate the development of important dance skills like rhythm, coordination, musicality, spatial concepts, basic ballet steps and positions, and dance class etiquette in a positive, nurturing environment guided by our faith. Boys are welcome to enroll just like any other student in this division. Whether they attend classes for a year or many, skills learned through dance can last for a lifetime!
Boys' Dance (ages 6+)
Boys may also enroll in one or more classes in the Youth Dance Division, including our specially-designed Boys' Dance class just for boys! This experience can be used as a springboard for future training in dance, as well as to gain additional strength and flexibility for sports like football and basketball. Additional available classes range from ballet to tap, jazz, hip hop, Musical Theater and more!
Boys with more than two years of prior experience in dance, or those graduating from Children's Dance Division Ballet IIB can audition for placement into our Pre-Professional Program. Training in the Pre-Professional Program is open to young men as well as to young women and is suitable for dancers who have an interest in pursuing dance as a professional career.
Scholarships for Boys
Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts is excited to offer Boys Scholarships as an incentive to encourage boys to participate in dance! Our Boys’ Scholarship Program automatically grants a 50% tuition scholarship to boys during the 2-3 semesters contained in the 12 month period following first-time enrollment. After the first year, boys remain eligible for additional tuition scholarship grants; the percentage amount (between 15-50%) varies on a case-by-case basis pending availability of scholarship funding and student merit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I have to wear tights?
A. Not necessarily! Boys just starting out can wear black pants or gym shorts.
Q. Do I have to wear pointe shoes?
A. No! Girls who study ballet wear special shoes, called pointe shoes, that allow them to stand on the tips of their toes. However, boys who dance do not do this. Instead, boys who take ballet classes can wear special boys' dance shoes that come in colors like white, black and tan.
Q. What do boys do in dance classes? Is it the same as what girls do?
A. While boys learn some of the same dance steps and positions that girls do, boys' dance training is very different. Boys' dance training is never "frilly" or "girly." Dancing is a very athletic activity for boys, focusing on the boys' ability to perform impressive jumps, turns and other feats. It has been said that ballet dancing is second only to football in the athletic ability needed to perform the sport! This is particularly true of boys dance training.
Q. Do boys perform?
A. Yes! Boys have many special opportunities to perform and show off what they've learned in dance classes, if they wish to participate in Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts performances. Participation in performances is always optional. Boys' roles in our story ballets tend to be different from that of the girls and often include things like sword fighting, acting, and performing impressive jumps and turns. Boys' roles in our Youth Dance Division Showcase are also specially created for boys.
Q. Dance looks cool, but I could never do that. It looks hard!
A. Learning to dance is a lot like learning to read. If you start off by learning the basics, and then slowly master more difficult concepts one step at a time, you will be surprised how much you can do!