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Ballet ClassAn American History$
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Melissa R. Klapper

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908683

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908683.001.0001

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Yes, Boys Take Ballet Class Too

Yes, Boys Take Ballet Class Too

(p.157) 7 Yes, Boys Take Ballet Class Too
Ballet Class

Melissa R. Klapper

Oxford University Press

While it is true that girls have always outnumbered them, boys have always been present in ballet class, and their numbers have grown steadily over the twentieth century. Due to gendered associations of ballet with girls and women in the United States, boys in ballet class have faced questions about their masculinity and sexuality. The impact of second-wave feminism on ideas about gender roles made ballet a more socially acceptable activity for boys. There have also been a number of strategies from within the ballet world to appeal to more boys, including offering free tuition, emphasizing the athleticism of ballet, and stressing the greater professional opportunities for male dancers.

Keywords:   ballet, boys, gender, prejudice, sexuality, masculinity, athleticism

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