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Author Topic: Changing Community Perceptions  (Read 4195 times)
QPO
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« on: April 23, 2010, 08:00:41 AM »

Recently I went to visit a friend whos daughter in law was visiting....Her son (he was about 12 months old) was on her lap was not allowed to get on the floor (another story) but when they asked about our dancing I said. Oh perhaps you could consider dance as a sport for your son and she was most indignant and condescending  and replied " my son is going to play football or cricket, he is NOT going to be a dancer"

I was a bit taken aback by such  a response I did not take the conversation further but I thought gosh if a mother is prepared to stereotype a male dancer what about the rest of the population?

The biggest pool of young boy dancers come from parents who dance, what can be done to change perceptions?
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elisedance
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2010, 11:53:25 AM »

Great question Q. 

Teach it in school - make it a new fashion.  Curious how some men are repulsed by ballroom whereas others are totally passionate about it.  I'm going to wait till we hear from some of the men on the forum - but maybe you could give us V's take?

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Some guy
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2010, 02:37:43 PM »

Well, I can kinda speak to this because when I first started learning from my mom (she's the one that introduced/forced me to start) I was really embarrassed about what people would think when I told them I wear tight clothes and shake my hips.  However, my fears vanished when one day some friends found out and they were really supportive and partly envious about it.  This was before Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.  So ballroom was known as dancing for "old people" and Latin dancing was not known for being done by manly men.  I think the movie "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere went over this "fear" briefly when he was too embarrassed to tell people at work what he did after hours.

I would think the fear still exists but since society's impression of it has changed so much, people (and their parents) should be a little bold and give it a shot.  Parents want their kids to be jocks because I think they believe it's "cool" and there's a better future in it (college scholarships, etc.)... and it's SO much cheaper.  However, parents of boys need to realize that the boy will thank them one day for not prioritizing huddling up, grabbing, and then showering with sweaty men as opposed to dancing in close embrace with girls.   Grin
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elisedance
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2010, 02:52:52 PM »

......However, parents of boys need to realize that the boy will thank them one day for not prioritizing huddling up, grabbing, and then showering with sweaty men as opposed to dancing in close embrace with girls.   Grin

I find this endlessly interesting - because yes, most men find the former manly and the latter effete.  And if you put it exactly like that (which I have on numerous occasions) they look embarassed since it sounds like they would rather get physical with other men... Which, of course, they would its just that same-sex interactions are stylized so that they are not only socially tollerated by desired. 

Very interesting.......
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IrenaAlexandria
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2010, 02:55:55 PM »

The biggest pool of young boy dancers come from parents who dance, what can be done to change perceptions?

I think some perceptions are already changing, thanks to the DWTS, etc. There is a lot more interest at the collegiate level, and lots of grade schools are starting to offer and develop ballroom programs. Definitely continued exposure will help, but you'll always have people who think football is more appropriate for boys than dancing.

Additionally, there are going to be parents who think ballroom is not appropriate for kids period. A family friend said she doesn't want her daughter competing in ballroom because she's concerned about body image issues, too much makeup and expensive costumes. "How am I going to say no to a $100 pair of jeans if I buy her a $1000 dress?" I tried to tell her about costume restrictions for youths, but she wasn't listening by that point...

My kid is going to dance whether he/she wants to or not...  Grin
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elisedance
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2010, 03:04:47 PM »

I actually did get my son to try it - but it did not stick.  Shame, his build was perfect to be a standard world champion... (dreams....)
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Some guy
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2010, 03:49:36 PM »

I actually did get my son to try it - but it did not stick.  Shame, his build was perfect to be a standard world champion... (dreams....)
Well it didn't "stick" with me either as my mom tried to get me into it before college.  I tried it and stopped.  It was after I stopped that my friends were so impressed with what I had done.  I never thought I'd get back to it but after college and starting out in the workforce I started to develop a thirst for it again and as soon as I could afford  it... well here I am!
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elisedance
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2010, 03:50:27 PM »

I actually did get my son to try it - but it did not stick.  Shame, his build was perfect to be a standard world champion... (dreams....)
Well it didn't "stick" with me either as my mom tried to get me into it before college.  I tried it and stopped.  It was after I stopped that my friends were so impressed with what I had done.  I never thought I'd get back to it but after college and starting out in the workforce I started to develop a thirst for it again and as soon as I could afford  it... well here I am!

Hmm.  Can my son stay with you for a while? Roll Eyes
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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ttd
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2010, 04:59:15 PM »

I had a similar conversation with a personal trainer who had a toddler. He commented on how much his son liked to move to music. I said that he should try to introduce him to dancing. He said that even though his wife would love the idea because of her mexican heritage, he'd prefer his son to do something more athletic, like football.

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ttd
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2010, 05:01:04 PM »

I actually did get my son to try it - but it did not stick.  Shame, his build was perfect to be a standard world champion... (dreams....)
Well it didn't "stick" with me either as my mom tried to get me into it before college.  I tried it and stopped.  It was after I stopped that my friends were so impressed with what I had done.  I never thought I'd get back to it but after college and starting out in the workforce I started to develop a thirst for it again and as soon as I could afford  it... well here I am!
My son didn't stick with it either. But since he is only 15, there's still some hope that he will come back to it when he's older.
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elisedance
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 05:36:04 PM »

I had a similar conversation with a personal trainer who had a toddler. He commented on how much his son liked to move to music. I said that he should try to introduce him to dancing. He said that even though his wife would love the idea because of her mexican heritage, he'd prefer his son to do something more athletic, like football.


which goes to prove the world is full of small minded twits.

sorry, but can't resist......
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
elisedance
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 05:37:00 PM »

Has everyone seen the movie Billy Elliot?
Its worth it for the last 10 seconds....
(actually, its worth it for the whole movie.... just delightful)
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

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Lioness
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 06:05:16 PM »

My kid is going to dance whether he/she wants to or not...  Grin

As a kid who's been there, with a parent who was insistent that I excel at his sport, I hope that comment was just slightly tongue-in-cheek. It sucks to be forced to do something because your parents love it. I spent a good 12 years of my life being forced into volleyball training, camps, and matches, and I hated every second of it. It wasn't my sport. It wasn't my passion. Sure, expose them to it, and if they love it, then go all out. But if they hate it, please don't make them keep doing it.

Just my $0.02
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elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 06:12:51 PM »

Your point is very very important - but I am pretty sure that IA was tongue in cheek when she wrote that Wink

Still maybe someone cruising through here will have cause to pause...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
ttd
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2010, 06:18:27 PM »

My kid is going to dance whether he/she wants to or not...  Grin

Ooh, I missed this one. I was on receiving end of this sort of thing with my mom and her unsatisfied piano ambitions. She never had an opportunity to study it herself so she  was "my kids are going to learn how to play the piano whether the like it or not, and they are going to thank me later for forcing them". I completed the piano program she forced me into when I was 14 (because I did not have the guts for confrontation with her until I was older) and I have not touched piano since. Surprisingly enough, I still like to listen to music, although I don't really care for classical kind except one or two pieces (my mom is really big on classics, but never really cared for other kinds of music).

That was mainly the reason why I did not force my son to continue dancing when he didn't want to do it anymore.
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