We don’t know if you saw but recently, ABC’s Good Morning America received a lot of backlash after mocking Prince George for enjoying ballet lessons at school. The boy is six. Prince or not, the boy is six years of age. We spoke to an anonymous male former ballet dancer who has written an open letter about why all of us should be proud of what we love.
‘For a start, ballet is awesome. Just because it’s stereotypically a female-dominated art doesn’t mean that men aren’t as welcome or as good at it. It takes a huge amount of body and core strength and, if we’re talking in stereotypes, they look as ‘manly’ as you could ever imagine.
But it’s cool, there was a lot of positive response. Hundreds of male ballet dancers of all ages filled Times Square outside the ‘GMA’ Studios a few days later and practiced together. What’s upsetting is there might be one young man who now doesn’t think it’s acceptable to be honest, open and proud of what he enjoys doing. I’d like to set the record straight.
Boys can dance too. Girls can do sports too. Your hobbies are your hobbies. You enjoy what you enjoy. There is no set list of interests to choose from because of your gender identity. You have every right to do whatever makes you happy. That’s also part of what makes you interesting – it’s human nature to want to see the passion someone has for the things they love. Life would be boring if we were all the same.
Unfortunately, some of the world is slightly behind. I’m not saying you won’t get a bit of stick at some point for it because, sadly, you might. Just know that your love for it outweighs all of that crap. There’s nothing cooler than watching someone doing the thing they love and being bloody good at it.
Personally, I’m now an actor and writer. I play rugby and love all sports known to man. But, I also happen to have done ballet, tap and jazz for years and have a huge passion for musical theatre. I go to the gym. I cry a lot. If what we enjoy was based on what society thinks we should enjoy, then I’m a walking contradiction. There’s no line between what you’re allowed to have as hobbies or passions because of who the world thinks you should be and ‘what’s cool’.
So keep doing the things you love. Whether it be ballet, or boxing, or cooking, or sewing or collecting stamps; that makes you cool AF doing something that you genuinely love and have a passion for. And, I promise, it’ll pay off in the long run. Don’t let other people decide what you love. You keep being proud of what you enjoy and let society catch up to you.’
For more advice, inspiration, empowerment and confidence, follow our Instagram @DitchtheLabel.