It's not too common to hear a man describe himself as a ballet dancer. For a long time, ballet has been seen as a woman's activity. It requires grace, poise and delicacy-all typically feminine traits-and the ballerinas get much of the attention while the male dancers fade into the background. But that is beginning to change. More parents are signing their boys up for ballet class. Male athletes are using ballet as a cross training activity to increase their endurance, flexibility, and overall muscle mass. As society progresses and people become more open-minded, the negative stereotypes surrounding men participating in ballet are diminishing.
While on assignment for Rapid Growth Media, I had the opportunity to photograph the boys ballet class at Michigan Ballet Academy. Encouragingly, this class has grown every year as more and more boys become interested in ballet. Ballet truly requires an enormous amount of strength and focus, something from which young boys could greatly benefit.