Sunday, May 02, 2010
Ballet: also textbook, if that text is a gender studies book
Harry had the nicest shoes in class, which he should have because I drove all over town visiting dance boutiques to find shoes in a Harry-requested "boy color" that didn't have bows. He really waned to wear a tutu, but the dance store lady told him that male dancers should wear white shirts and black pants to class. He wasn't a big fan of jazz pants, though, so he went with soccer shorts.
I love how small the class is. Harry listened and followed directions very earnestly, and the teacher told me that 2 more boys are going to be there next week. She also brought us a brochure from the Milwaukee ballet company for Harry to look through so that he could see all the cool costumes male ballet dancers wear, and she drew his attention to a picture of the whole troupe, telling him that there are as many boy dancers as there are girl dancers.
When Ben came home from work, he asked Harry what he learned at ballet. "I learned how to leap and flutter," Harry was happy to report.
Even though I always understood that gender is a social construct, having kids has made me realize how fragile it is, how hard to maintain. To want to maintain.
Look at his serious little face-- he loved watching himself in the big mirror, my stocky ballerina.