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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Burger sales bring in $5,000 to build Imagination Libraries in Greater Victoria

United Way of Greater Victoria and Big Wheel Burger team up to get kids reading

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read