I guess with dancing being my heart and soul, I am quite biased when it comes to it, and obviously, I am in it and involved a lot more than your average joe blow. However, there is one stigma that I want to stamp on, right here and right now …The male dancer stigma.
Unfortunately, in Australia, dancing is not put in the same category as footballers, rugby players, tennis players, and cricketers. Why this is, I’m not sure? I am sure a few of us dancers (male and female) would like to challenge other sportspeople in fitness activities or trials because I can assure you the dancing is not just putting on pretty clothes and running around the floor.
As I said at the start, I am biased, but I have met some of the most masculine men in my life through dancing. Their poise, their confidence, their strength, their gentlemen qualities, and respect of how to treat a woman. I am lucky enough to dance with a MAN! One who I would say would endure more in his day to day training than most sportsmen.
Dancing IS pushing your body to the limits you didn’t even know you had. And creating this with control and power, through mind and body. And then adding a woman on the end of his hand, who he must lead, guide, care for through every step of every dance! (mentally and physically hahaha …. We all know we can be a bit, difficult girls, lol)
As a man when you dance you have the biggest responsibility there is. Leading. You wear the number therefore you are the driver. People think that this can be a sexist comment, but it isn’t. In a dance partnership there are roles, the man leads, and the woman follows, this is the beauty and art. The responsibility of him to position us on a floor, whether it be practice or competition, to drive us out of trouble, to figure out the music when he first hears it, to take the hits basically. Feel the strength, the confidence, and the power that male dancers need to exude round after round. Its something pretty special!
Again being a teacher and being lucky enough to teach and dance Pro-am/ and teacher-student with many of them, there is nothing that makes them more masculine than when they take my hand guide me on the floor and lead me into a routine. Its like microsurgery, I would prefer to follow and design any day over leading. In older generations, dancing was never seen as being not masculine. I always say I was born in the wrong era as a joke, because number one I love old school music, but I would have loved to have been around when the men actually asked the ladies to dance when they were out! When it wasn’t about holding up the bar and checking out the crowd, when it was actually about a man asking a woman for a dance, what a shame that this in society has changed. Of course, you move with the times, but still, interesting how much it has changed don’t you think?
Of course, then there is the fear of bullying from younger generations. Unfortunately, there are always going to be bullies, but at the end of the day, you need to do what you want to do. I think the best comment my partner made once when someone commented on his dancing when he was younger, he said “while you’re in a change room with 20 sweaty, smelly men, I am in a change room with 20 beautiful women”
Yes of course these blogs are about Ballroom dancing, but this one I'm extending to all styles; ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop. Just look at all the men doing those styles, and if you are questioning their masculinity then I think you have to look again!
So now do you think male dancers are less of a man than other sportsmen?