By Elise Boom, chairman Boys Action.
During the past 15 years Boys Action has developed a method to inspire young boys to join dance classes. These boys have learned to train as a dancer and perform as a dancer and some have developed their physicality skills to such a level as to gain access to a professional school. The necessity to develop a method was the result of countless years of teaching and scouting for the preparatory dance education in the region. Currently all our activities are organized through a private foundation, Boys Action.
These experiences raised questions to be answered:
- Boys are well represented in the urban dance community so why don’t they choose for theater dance as a hobby?
- Why is it that in most of the professional preparatory schools and dance academies boys are under represented? Or from abroad!
- Most boys don’t finish the preparatory school, why?
To get answers to these questions, we realized that there are many factors that play a role. We could instinctively fill in the answers but they were not based on research or facts. Armed with professional knowledge acquired through our dance training and years of teaching children in the amateur field, the idea was born that it could be possible to attract boys to dance and hold on to them by connecting the dance training to their contemporary culture. Besides their contemporary culture their movement urge is the most important facet. From experience it was already clear that boys and girls differ in the way they follow class and especially differ in their physical development and movement urge. We have browsed the multitude of research on the internet that has been done on the differences in motor and physical development between girls and boys. In the menu item “resources” we have included, for us, the most important research.
Below is schematically indicated how Boys Action sees the differences between traditional methodologies compared to the Boys Action Dance Method. This is of course based on experience, rather than on scientific research.