Ballet is normally seen as a mostly female activity, especially for younger people. Attracting more boys and men to this form of dance has always been more of a challenge. There are, however, plenty of good role models out there that may just inspire the next generation of Nureyev’s.
Everyone likes to have a role model so here are just a few guys who have introduced dance into their lives and never looked back:
If you’ve never tried any form of dance and don’t know much about it, you may not have heard of Matthew Bourne. In dancing circles, however, he’s known as one of the most creative choreographers and directors in modern theatre. Bourne has been responsible for directing some of the biggest hits to grace the London stage in recent times and was knighted in 2016 for his achievements over the last 30 years.
For those who are fans of old time musicals and the wonderful world of Gene Kelly, the name Adam Garcia is certainly going to resonate. More well-known for his film and television appearances when it comes to a younger audience, he’s a tap dance specialist and has appeared on stage in big shows such as Grease and Wicked.
If you want inspiration for starting young, Ukrainian dancer Poulin began at just 3 years old and is fast becoming an icon for the industry. A lead dancer for the Royal Ballet during his time, he has a reputation for being temperamental and a bit of a hell raiser. You may not have seen him dancing but you’ll recognise Poulin from recent films like Murder on the Orient Express and Red Sparrow.
Not all good dancers are professionals. Collins is probably better known for being an American football player with the Baltimore Ravens. He does however use Irish dance to improve his fitness and agility. This can be a good way of getting someone young involved in dancing, using it to improve their performance in another sport.
Building a career in the world of dance is not easy but Eric Underwood has certainly been able to do just that. He fell into ballet by accident after failing an acting audition. He tried out for dance as a teenager and spent the next eleven years as a solo artist for the Royal Ballet. Good male dancers are highly prized in ballet simply because there are so few of them. If you have the ability and talent and are prepared to work hard, it’s a career move that could lead to the top very quickly.
Dance allows you to develop your own sense of creativity, there’s no doubt about that. No one exemplifies this more than Akram Kahn who uses his background in Indian kathak to bring contemporary productions to the stage. Kahn’s career path from dancer to artistic director and choreographer shows what can be achieved in the world of dance today.
Look around and you’ll see plenty of excellent male role models across the spectrum of dance. Not only is it a great activity to get involved in when you’re young but can help boost your fitness, agility and build lots of confidence.