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BY: Bunchland
The Grid
Photograph by Colin McConnell/Toronto Star
December 27, 2012

Boys Class

Let’s face it: In your average ballet class, girls outnumber boys. Toronto, however, just might be ahead of the curve in the trend of boys and dance.

Could it be that the current generation of moms and dads was deeply influenced by the film and musical stage play Billy Elliot? Alanna Budhoo, coordinator of Tapshoes & Tutus Dance Co-op in Parkdale, says she’s definitely seeing more boys in her creative-movement classes. “Just like any sport,” she says, “ballet is full of energetic physical activity. Boys especially love all the jumping and athleticism.” She stresses that boys starting ballet at a young age respond to a playful approach to dance, and because she encourages creativity with their natural movements, there isn’t a rigid emphasis on technique.

For young kids, pre-ballet teaches the basics, but also gives kids an opportunity to think imaginatively about their body in space. In the same way that piano is a great place to start with music, in some ways, ballet is the ABCs of dance.

Check out classes at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre (509 Parliament St., 416-924-5657), your community rec centre, or a neighbourhood dance school like Tapshoes and Tutus (1488 Queen St. W., 416-885-7532) and get your burgeoning Billy Elliot into some tights.

Copyright 2012 The Grid, a division of Toronto Star

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