The boys practising their 360-degree turn jumps at their dance class. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

VIDEO: What’s different during an all-boys dance class

One dance studio in Williams Lake is offering its first-ever class for all boys

A popular dance studio in Williams Lake is holding its first boys-only class.

Corinne Stromsten, owner of Dance In Common, has long wished to be able to offer and run this class, but because of traditionally low engagement numbers, she’s mostly had interested boys dance with the girls, until now.

READ MORE: Dance in Common hosts A Visual Dance Art Show

Designed to expose boys to the dance world, the class covers a wide variety of genres and styles of dance from jazz, ballet and hip hop, as well as to choreography where they’ll learn how to create their own routines.

“Even though some of them are quite young, they all are very creative and they all have something to offer. It’s not just me telling them what to do. It’s a really good group of kids,” Stromsten said.

“We currently have 11 males in the studio and in the boys’ program, we have seven to eight. The girls sometimes come early to watch the boys in the back window and are a little bit envious of their program.”

Teaching dance to boys requires a different, more physical and direct approach, Stromsten said. Boys need to be shown clearly what to do, she said, and strict guidelines so they don’t run around and goof off the entire lesson.

Having a male mentor has helped, as is using music with heavier beats and deeper sounds.

“One time, I made the mistake off putting on a very fairy-sounding type of music and they just didn’t respond the same way than when we have deep, heavy sounding music,” Stromsten said, chuckling.

Changing the language she uses to teach has also been beneficial. She’s used the Transformers movie franchise as a way to explain how to “transform” their bodies into various poses and movements.

“I think creative dance style and classical dance style is beneficial to their brain development. It teaches them discipline, self-control and that boys have just as much to offer in dance as girls.”

Liam Gilroy is in Grade 7 and a mentor in the boys’ class.

“I like ballet, it’s very fun and it helps me improve my style. I like jazz as well,” Gilroy said. “Dance, it’s an art, right? It’s something you can learn. I get to get out, I stay fit, I get to do what I love and I get to hang out with some of my friends.”

Stromsten said Gilroy was visibly excited when boys started signing up for this class and others. She said it was probably hard for him being the only boy in a studio of girls.

She described him as patient and willing to take the time to help build the boys up. He maintains a friendship with each of them and leads by example.

“I find that it’s usually stereotyped: ‘Oh, dancing is for girls.’ But it’s really not,” Gilroy said.

“I watched the Nutcracker, which is one of the more famous dances, and those guys are amazing. They do spins, flips and everything. Everyone’s like ‘Ha, ha, you dance,’ and everything, and I’m like: ‘Yeah. I love it!’”



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Boys army crawl across the studio floor. (Phot by Patrick Davies)

Corine Stromsten demonstrates a 360-degree spin jump for her class. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

The class practices hopping from one end of the studio to the other. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Liam Gilroy demonstrates his jumping skills at the end of the boys’ dance class last Friday. (Photo by Patrick Davies) Liam Gilroy demonstrates his jumping skills at the end of the boys’ dance class last Friday. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Just Posted

Home care transition could exacerbate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

United Way to recognize outstanding community members

The annual Spirit Awards celebration will feature 13 award recipients

Downtown Victoria Shoppers Drug Mart to take over previous Chapters location

The drug store is moving next door to take on a two-storey expansion

Oak Bay student Ottawa bound as parliamentary page

Community-driven Leah Smith to join Page Program

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Experts butt heads in court, hunter loses case for return of ram

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Most Read