That's right! I wrote that title and actually meant it! I know what you are thinking... Are you Crazy? Don't you know that we live in South Alabama. Yep, I do! I also know that I am the mom to 2 boys of my own and my oldest is a living testament of how dance can benefit our boys with their athletics! My son not only dances competitively and has since he was around 5 years old, but he also has played football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. He absolutely LOVES dance and baseball. He plays travel ball and rec ball for baseball and last season his all-star team were state champions. Now, I know the next question you have... does his coach know that he dances? Yep! And his coaches support him! Why? Because dance has strengthened his legs, his knees, his ankles, and his feet. He is lighter and quicker on his feet. He generally plays second base and because of dance his feet work is second to none. He can jump higher than most kids his age and he is flexible and able to change direction quicker without injury. He also has increased stamina, is more focused, has an increased attention span, takes corrections easier, is more disciplined, and typically easier to coach because of his experiences with dance from a younger age.
I was incredibly discouraged at one particular competition to have the unfortunate experience to sit behind an exceptionally obnoxious dad from another studio who proceeded to tell his 5 year old son, that was dancing in the aisles while watching the dancers on stage, that he needed to quit doing that because only sissies did that! I proceeded to educate him because only knowledge can truly stomp out ignorance. I explained that my son took dance and was an all-star baseball player and enjoyed every sport immensely. I even explained that his coaches encouraged his dance because they had seen the benefits to his skills on the baseball field. He stated that no son of his would ever take dance! How sad to be that ignorant! Ignorance is NOT BLISS sometimes! Dance will NOT cause your son to be gay or to be sissified! I actually challenge anyone that thinks that to please tell Steve McLendon, Herschel Walker, or Lynn Swann from the NFL, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Christian Bale, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or even Evander Holyfield that they are sissies for taking ballet and see how long you last. :) Professional athletes have taken ballet classes to increase their flexibility in their hamstrings, to strengthen muscles in their calves, to work their feet and ankles, to improve their balance and to gain more control over their bodies through ballet's rigorous training of proper arm, foot and leg placement. In 2014, the Dallas Cowboys installed ballet barres outside the locker room for stretching purposes. I dare say that absolutely NONE of these people were any less manly because they took dance. They actually were better athletes and benefited greatly from the techniques that they learned!
So, does dance training really help professional and high-level athletes? David Franco, who played four years of baseball at Miami University and created the Next Level Baseball Blog, says yes, dance training “helps your footwork, coordination and balance, which are all positives on the ball field.” So whether you have a daughter or a SON that wants to dance, you can see that the benefits of dance are significant for every gender. Boys that are involved in other sports can benefit from ballet especially in order to increase and hone their athletic talents for their other sports. Dance is beneficial for everyone!
Crystal Sizemore is the owner and artistic director of Center Stage Dance Studio. She has a MBA and Bachelor's degree in Business with a minor in dance. She lives in Enterprise, Alabama with her husband and 3 kids.
Inspiring excellence one child at a time. Striving to offer an encouraging, supportive, family-oriented, and loving environment that teaches not only proper dance technique, based on a structured curriculum; but also teaches life skills taught by a passionate and caring faculty.
Enterprise Location - 1107 Rucker Blvd., Enterprise