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By Tanya Rivero
The Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2014


[New York City, New York, USA] – “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” has been one of New York’s beloved annual Christmas traditions since 1954 when the New York City Ballet first produced the work.

There are 32 roles for boys in two casts of the ballet company’s production. Yet ever since that inaugural production of the classic, girls have had to fill many of those roles, their hair fastened tightly beneath their caps.

In more recent years, the dearth of boys for male roles has eased.

This season, all the roles intended for boys are being danced by boys, and auditions have gotten more competitive as interest has grown. And the ballet company’s affiliated school, the School of American Ballet, which offers free tuition to boys, has seen a jump in enrollment in recent years.

A wonderful problem,” says Dena Abergel, City Ballet’s children’s ballet master, who casts and rehearses the Nutcracker children. “It’s definitely more competitive, which can be especially good for boys.”

Here’s a look at the changing face of the iconic production.

Copyright ©2014 Dow Jones & Co Inc



Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel


Read more about  Collin: Youngster performs in OBT’s Nutcracker






Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel

Striving to become the next Darcey Bussell or Wayne Sleep takes hours of dedication, determination – and heavy financial investment. Emily Woodrow speaks to five young Welsh dancers with a dream to succeed in the ballet world and discovers the major sacrifices that they and their families have made.

Read more: Blood, sweat & blisters





By Teenvogue


In this exclusive new series, follow six talented students as they strive for stardom at the School of American Ballet. With unprecedented access, you’ll go behind the scenes and inside the studio to see what it’s really like trying to land a spot on the prestigious Lincoln Center stage.




Scenes from the Boys’ Dance Summer School, January 2014 at Shore School Sydney, with tutors Steven Heathcote, Bill Pengelly and Jason Duff.

For more information visit:



Drew Minard on set of the music video Cherry on Top (Thomas Wolfe Northcut) 2014-01b

The 2013 Ballet finalist performance by David Preciado at the Spotlight Awards Gala presented by The Music Center of Los Angeles.




Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel

A Special Gift (ABC After School Special 1979) is the story of  a 14 year-old basketball star who has been secretly studing ballet and his concern about what his peers may think when they find out.

Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel

The Boys Program is a tuition-free course that was developed by Peter Martins at the School of American Ballet. (Introduction by Peter Martins, Cameron Dieck and  Jack Soto on teaching boys and commentary by the boys)

For more information on the Boys Programs visit

Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel

Boys and Ballet YouTube Channel

By Terra King
Terra’s Independent Voice
February 6, 2014

todancelikeaman_videocoverFirst Run Features has released a documentary entitled “To Dance Like a Man.” This film revolves around three little boys, identical triplets, who want to be professional ballet dancers. They wish to someday attend ‘The National Ballet School of Cuba‘ which is a very prestigious school that only accepts a few people a year to learn dance and perhaps become a world famous dancer.

Angle, Cesar and Marcos, age 11 are followed around both at home and at school.

It is explained that Cuba is a country that loves their ballet. The viewer is shown the best dancers in the school, all of which want a chance to be in the big show, the national school. The dancers are interviewed and at the end of the film, you see which students made the cut and who didn’t.

Read the entire review:

© 2014 Terras Independent Voice

Relatede Articles:

Triplets a sensation at Cuba’s National School of Ballet

To Dance Like A Man: Triplets In Havana

PBS Sunday Arts Profile
May 2012

More videos can be found at the Boys and Ballet Youtube Channel

Siphe November, 12,  (centre) dances with other students during a class at the National Ballet School  2010

Fourteen year-old Siphe November is from Montague ,South Africa and is currently a student at Canada’s National Ballet School.

Read more about Siphe: From South Africa to the National Ballet School: A young boy’s great big leap

This 2001 documentary gives us a peak at how boys are trained in Russia. We see the hard work, pain, sweat and exhaustion that the boys must endure to become graceful and strong dancers so the that “the people will applaud.”

                  So the people will applaud 02      So the people will applaud 01

More videos can be found at the Boys and Ballet Youtube Channel

Boys and Ballet has not been able to discover the photographer’s name or the school where these pictures were taken. If you know, please leave a comment.

Stretching before class 01 Stretching before class 02 Stretching before class 03 Stretching before class 04 Stretching before class 05 Stretching before class 06 Stretching before class 07 Stretching before class 08 Stretching before class 09 Stretching before class 10 Stretching before class 11

Related Articles:

Stretching Before Class (Doc)

Building strength

The Warm-Up Before Class (Doc)

Men at Work: Dance Training and Strengthening Upper Body  (PDF)

Dancer Keeps in Shape With Leaps and Bounds (2006) (Doc)

Ballet Stretches that can benefit dancers and athletes (photos by Andrew Shimabuku)b

The Rising Star of the Cuban Ballet: Osiel Gounod

Osiel Gounod in Coppelia (photo by Dance Europe)

By Nadine Covert
Cuban Art News
August 22, 2013

Over the years, Cuba has earned a well-deserved, international reputation as an incubator of talented male ballet dancers. Graduates of the National School of Ballet who have gone on to worldwide fame include Carlos Acosta, a principal dancer with London’s Royal Ballet, and José Manuel Carreño, who was recently named artistic director of Ballet San Jose in San Jose, California.

Now a new young star has appeared on the horizon. Osiel Gounod has been named a principal male dancer with the renowned National Ballet of Cuba—at age 21, one of the youngest to have achieved this distinction.

Born in Matanzas, Gounod was accepted into the National School of Ballet—over the strenuous objections of his father—at age 9. (His mother supported his ambitions from the beginning.) In this two-part video, CCTV reporter Michael Voss interviews Gounod and accompanies him on a visit to his hometown.

Voss also visits the ballet school, founded in 1962, and interviews renowned director Ramona de Saá. She notes that, at first, the boys they trained as dancers were recruited from orphanages, because back then many Cuban parents considered ballet a “feminine art” and were reluctant to enroll their sons in ballet school.

This year the Cuban National Ballet is celebrating its 65th anniversary. Renowned for its presentations of the classics, the National Ballet is now looking to expand and update its repertoire. In the videos, Gounod is seen rehearsing a new work, “Destruction of a Dancer,” based on a Cuban poem about an injured dancer who turns to drugs.

In an on-camera interview, Carlos Acosta acknowledges that Osiel is one of the best of the current generation of male dancers. As Cuban Art News readers may recall, Acosta is currently fundraising to create a ballet school and arts center on the campus of the former National Arts Schools (now the Instituto Superior de Artes, ISA). He is particularly proud that Gounod, like he himself, is black. “We need more black princes,” Acosta remarks.

Gounod dreams of becoming an international ballet star and has already performed with the Cuban National Ballet in New York, London, and Beijing. By promoting him to principal dancer, the company hopes to encourage him to stay in Cuba for now. The third video here—a quick glimpse of Osiel’s bravura leaps and turns in Don Quijote—showcases the kind of performances that are generating so much international attention.

© 2013 The Howard and Patricia Farber Foundation


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