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

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

Coldest Night an event for warm hearts

Sources’ White Rock event one of 130 walkathons across Canada on Feb. 23

VIDEO: A new Hive climbing/fitness facility coming to Surrey in 20,000-sq.-ft. space

‘Bouldering’ and other activities planned at site near Pattullo Bridge

MK Delta Lands development another step closer to breaking ground

Delta needs Metro Vancouver’s okay before swapping hundreds of acres and adding it to Burns Bog

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read