Today was Keohi's first ballet class. It was great! I highly recommend Winky's dance studio for dance classes, particularly for children. It's supporting a local Mui Wo small business owner, plus she's a great teacher. There was a combo of Cantonese and English used in the class. It's dance class, anyone can follow. There were three little girls (two native Cantonese speakers, one English speaker, and Keohi) dressed in pink, and Keohi in his white shirt and black spandex ice skating pants. Not a lot of fluffy tutus. It was a dance class. Winky had interesting ways to present movement and Keohi enjoyed it--arms up like a giraffe, balancing, lots of floor work.
We've discussed how important ballet can be for his future as a kung-fu master. So he was in. Since martial arts was a part of my life and Stephen's, and is actually significant within my extended family, I consider martial arts and this type of movement training and study to be a part of a well-rounded education. So dance is important for a variety of reasons. He likes it.
What I was also pleased about was that we have tried very hard to parent him with a mind of being open to gender roles and to be gender tolerant. So there was little question about whether this was a boys or a girls activity. He just went with it. He really wasn't concerned one way or the other in the extreme. Of course, we're living in the stone age in Mui Wo, and let's face it, such Neanderthal attitudes about dance and art extend well beyond our village, so there aren't many boys running to dance class. (We will not discuss the number of obnoxious comments I have fielded from various parents of all nationalities on my son, but I warn you all--I remember every single one of them...and they will come back to haunt you...just kidding...sort of...)
So to be blunt, I don't expect a ton of boys to rock up to Winky's ballet class with him. But too bad for them. The class clearly teaches agility, rhythm, coordination, balance, and strength. Dancers are athletes. Period. One does not have to always kick a damn ball to be an athlete--I mean, geez, must boys be constantly relegated to this type of activity simply because of their damn genitals? Keohi likes playing and kicking a ball as much as any other kid, but he can develop in other ways too.
Of course, I can't help but be a little concerned about him feeling self-conscious in the future in this class, but so far so good and I have confidence that it will go well. And a warning to anyone out there who passed the class as it was going on and saw Keohi dancing in it. You are free to compliment, but will have to answer to me if I hear anything other than that. Watch out. Stay safe:)