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

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

Harrison to discuss future of mutual aid with Kent

Staff will discuss what mutual aid for the fire departments means before signing a new contract

PET CARE: Valentine’s Day brings holiday hazards

Veterinarian Nicolette Joosting shares her tips for keeping your pets safe this Valentine’s Day

Industrial land in short supply for Agassiz

Although demand is high, restrictions on ALR land mean Kent may not be able to take advantage

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Police investigating after 14-year-old boy pepper sprayed at Surrey mall

Surrey RCMP say two males fled the scene before officers arrived on scene at Guildford Town Centre

Third measles case in Vancouver prompts letter to parents

Measles is highly contagious and spreads easily through the air

Abbotsford’s Matsqui prison beefing up security against contraband

Correctional service says officials found a number of unauthorized items during ‘exceptional search’

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

B.C. man known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ dies making daily trek to his wife

Maple Ridge 85-year-old made visits to New West for 12 years

Wilson-Raybould’s cabinet move due to departure from team: Trudeau

Jody Wilson-Raybould suddenly quit the cabinet this week, but Trudeau isn’t saying

VIDEO: Canada Winter Games athletes arrive in Red Deer from B.C. and beyond

Up to 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches will arrive throughout the day Thursday and Friday

Trump says he’ll declare national emergency to build border wall

In a rare show of bipartisanship, lawmakers voted Thursday to fund large swaths of the government

Most Read