News: Video games and superheroes turn boys onto ballet

Wednesday 30 March 2016 by Denise Drake

Royal Academy of Dance’s new male dance ambassador Iain Mackay with students
Photo: Mark Mainz
Courtesy of The Telegraph

The Royal Academy of Dance seems to have solved the problem of persuading boys to take ballet lessons by using superheroes and video game characters as role models.

“Instead of classes based on the classical repertoire, with its emphasis on fairytales, princesses, tiaras and tutus – seen as more appealing to little girls than their male counterparts – the boys are encouraged to adopt the personae of superheroes and characters from films and video games such as Angry Birds, Optimus Prime, Minecraft, Star Wars, Lego and Toy Story.”

Having recruited hundreds of new boys to take part in a series of events promoting classical dance, they have also seen an increase in the numbers of boys taking ballet exams.

The newly appointed male dance ambassador for RAD, Iain Mackay, also Principal at the Birmingham Royal Ballet, says the secret lies in encouraging boys to view ballet in the same way they see sport “cool, physical, aspirational and addictive.”

Read the full feature in The Telegraph 20 March.

Photo: Mark Mainz, courtesy of The Telegraph

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