Poll: Ballet / Guys in Ballet

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re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Thu Aug 16, 2007 07:51 PM
Pointe can be an advantage for guys as it helps a dancer find there center along with building strength in the ankles and legs. If you cannot find your center you can always drive truck or shoot yourself. Just kidding but keep in mind that balance and strength are both necessary in the Ballet. Ballet is a language and we must learn to speak clearly with the audience while sharing our souls.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Old_Ballet_Dude Comments: 555, member since Tue Mar 13, 2007
On Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:17 AM
Why should anything in ballet be off limits to either sex?

Guys trying Pointe? Go for it!!!
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By g7b7h7 Comments: 3, member since Sat Sep 01, 2007
On Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:42 PM
...If you plan on ever teaching point/variations, or coaching anyone, you had better. Other than that, it’s just a good idea. It really sobers you up to the other sex’s reality in the world of ballet.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not? (karma: 1)
By BalletBlueBoy Comments: 120, member since Sat May 05, 2007
On Sat Sep 01, 2007 01:36 PM
This discussion is ballet almost coming full circle, since the original ballet started in the French royal court with the male nobility performing ritualised dance movements and showing off their masculine calves in hose. Women later entered into the dance in a more supporting role, but as time moved on their role grew in importance and the males position dropped - my guess on when this seriously started to occur would be when the dance become professional and it was no longer the nobles dancing and hence the importance of the male role drops. Then the ladies introduced pointe work to further their artistic expression and refine their dancing, so pointe has strong female undertones due to it's origin and that the majority of ballet classical and modern has females doing pointe. But as societies have changed and grown (to a more equal balance between the sexes) and men are more confident in expressing themselves so I believe the male dancing pointe will become a more acceptable part of the ballet scene. I think this my also lead to female ballerinas become bigger in stature as they start to take some of the traditional male parts of dance like lifting.

So do I think men should learn pointe a resounding yes. For many of the reasons posted by others on this thread and for my feeling that the dance scene is changing and some of the younger male dancers will be leading the vanguard of that change.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Sat Sep 01, 2007 03:21 PM
Fun with history...enjoy and keep dancing.
When Catherine de Medici married the King of France (Henri II) in 1553 she introduced ballet de court, or court ballet to the Court of France, during the sixteenth century. The main characteristic of Ballet de court was the starring roles were performed by the highest figures of the land. At first these were usually masked extravaganzas with costumed courtiers, dancing. Initially the dances were complex, with elaborate floor patterns and step sequences. Although the technique required excellent balance and control, dress limited the possibilities of the movement. Shoes worn for early ballet were often specifically designed but usually followed current court fashion. This was both true for men and women (McDowell, 1994). Men's fashion for long toed shoes hampered their ability to move freely, as did the fashion for long wide sleeved gowns. Hence arm and foot position became important. Women wearing heavy dresses were unable to develop their footwork. Flexible soles allowed for small springing steps, but the raised heels restricted the possibility of jumping. Eventually a codified vocabulary of steps emerged. Louis XIII appeared in La Douairiere de Billebahaut (1626) but his successor and namesake, King Louis XIV loved dancing and starred in many court productions. According to historians he had two compassions, himself and theatre. The attraction was the gracious worship often played out in the dance reflected his own mortal glory. He appeared in Ballet de la Nuit (1653) dressed as the sun and henceforth became known as the Sun King. Louis XIV wore high-heeled shoes with massive guilt sun buckles complete with rays. Men's clothing was now well fitted for nimbleness but their high-heeled shoes severely limited the possibilities. When Louis XIV became too old to participate he continued to patronise ballet and founded the Academie Royal de danse (1661). Later this became the Paris Opera Ballet and up until 1681 all female roles were danced by young men. Many historians believe the reluctance to include female dancers was related to clothing. Men's costume was light by comparison to women's, who wore heavy wigs and enormous headdresses with full heavy skirts, heeled shoes and probably thigh corsets. Men meantime wore tights. Decorum prohibited anything more daring than modified ballroom steps in the gavotte, the pavane, the courante or the minuet. Feet were elegantly pointed outwards to show off buckles and coupled with arm gestures careful to avoid brushing the full sleeve became the foundation of classical ballet. Pierre Beachamps became the ballet master for Louis and is credited with the establishment of classical ballet's basic five positions and he stressed technical steps and movements as opposed to the sino-geometrical movements then in fashion. Minding your p & qs may have had its the origins where dance masters would caution their pupils to mind their pieds (feet) and queues (tails of their wigs) when they took to the floor. As was the convention dancers would greet each other by bowing, to bow too low would result in the embarrassment of loosing your wig. Hence, 'mind your ps and qs.'
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By BalletBlueBoy Comments: 120, member since Sat May 05, 2007
On Sun Sep 02, 2007 03:38 AM
Gaudium,

Thank you for a more detailed background to the history of ballet. Since my interest in the subject is growing all the time I may look to see if there is a book or two on the history I could read to take my level of knowledge up from the brief to in-depth.

Cheers,
BBB
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Thu Sep 27, 2007 08:06 AM
Why the hell not!!!! Good luck to all that try and be safe and enjoy! I have a couple of questions.
1, If you are thinking about going en pointe. How does one ask your teacher, I know the ladies and girls in my class would enjoy seeing me dance with them and wouldn't think any differen't but most teachers are (old times) and don't like change.
2. What tights would you wear and keeping with male dance attire.
3.I have a pair of pointe shoes I warm up in at home (demi pointe only) to be safe. where could one find more pointe shoes that would fit a size 10W street shore size. I have a 14ww Sansa now.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Thu Sep 27, 2007 08:08 AM
Why the hell not!!!! Good luck to all that try and be safe and enjoy! I have a couple of questions.
1, If you are thinking about going en pointe. How does one ask your teacher, I know the ladies and girls in my class would enjoy seeing me dance with them and wouldn't think any differen't but most teachers are (old times) and don't like change.
2. What tights would you wear and keeping with male dance attire.
3.I have a pair of pointe shoes I warm up in at home (demi pointe only) to be safe. where could one find more pointe shoes that would fit a size 10W street shore size. I have a 14ww Sansa now.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By guyintightsmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 242, member since Wed Aug 29, 2007
On Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:29 AM
I voted yes and I have taken pointe, I did in fact learn it for Puck and I loved doing it! It is very very hard and very painful as well! My toes payed the price. I got my pointes from Freed! The fitter was very helpful and never gave any indication that she though it weird in any way.
As I progressed in pointe class my blance and timeing got much better. My legs streched out and got stonger too.
I might not think that the males shoule perform in pointe but to learn it and benifit form it is worth it!
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Fri Sep 28, 2007 03:02 PM
Open the doors and windows dude!! there's a big world out there that is changing all the time.... You sound like you are from the dark ages....
And Yes to all those guys who go en pointe !!!good luck.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Bart243 Comments: 442, member since Tue Jan 20, 2004
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:51 AM
If a guy WANTS to do pointe and is strong and well trained enough, then why not? If another guy has no interest in pulling on those pink rat traps then he doesn't have to. So since the question was "SHOULD learn pointe I would say only of they want to.

I did pointe for a while and though painful, it was exciting and had its own amazing challenges.

Do what you want and don't look back!

Bart
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By LittleButFierce Comments: 882, member since Sat May 05, 2007
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 01:23 AM
I said I was undecided because I guess it is the best choice for how I think of it. I am pretty sure no guy really needs pointe to learn to be a good partner or to get nice feet or strong ankles. Yes, it probably helps, but so does just taking lots of ballet and exercising with therabands, pilates, etc. and being a thoughtful and careful person will make you a good partner for pas. I definitely don't think boys should have to learn pointe while they are young because really this is not classical ballet training at all. I personally am not interested in pointe for me anytime soon if ever, unless it is part of a character role or a contemporary ballet.

OK but I have one friend who always wanted to do pointe so his teacher is letting him now. He started ballet when he was 8 and now he is 13. He was so happy to get his shoes and dance in them so I who am I to say no, men should never do this? He is my best friend and I am happy he is so excited and loves his pointe classes. How can it be wrong for him to love this...but I wonder if his teacher will put him on stage in pointes? I hope not because in my eyes that is very wrong unless it is for a character part like ugly stepsister in cinderella or maybe bottom in midsummer night's dream. Because we are talking about classical ballet and a public performance not a class at the studio.

So ya, that is what I think. :)
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 06:19 PM
I took up Pointe at the age of 14 as did all of the boys in my class (well all four of us). Our male instructor felt it was necessary to complete our training. When I was 16 I was able with only few weeks work again get on Pointe for a character role on stage Learning Pointe was one of the most painful periods of my life, I would never do it again although I did enjoy the roll. Pointe also helped me find my true center so who am I to complain. To become a professional dancer you must become skilled, learn to perform and find out the best way to live with injuries, in this case it was my feet!
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 06:27 PM
Where is the market for guys en pointe? Enough said.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 07:26 PM
If I had not taken pointe, I would have missed out working for a company that required a male with that talent. Every time someone asks me how or where I learned to dance, I laugh to myself as I grew up with four sisters, so I learned to dance en Pointe outside the bathroom door.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Sat Sep 29, 2007 09:22 PM
Dude!!! who gives a fat rats ass!!!!! if you want to learn then do what you feel is right. Remeber!!! you only get ONE shoot at life so live it, enjoy it, to the max, or you will miss out.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Sun Sep 30, 2007 03:55 PM
You do have a potty mouth, but that is your problem!
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Sun Sep 30, 2007 07:27 PM
Sorry Gaudium!
I don't want to sound rude, I Was reading the very first comment on this chat By chaine_boi, his Comments just made me very very angry!!! That person needs to grow up! If men/boys want to learn pointe, I support them in there goals 100%. No one should be discouraged for wanting to better themselefs.
Pointe shoes, sizes that will fit men.
By Kiwi_Ballet Comments: 18, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Fri Oct 05, 2007 09:06 PM
Just for anyone out there looking for pointe shoes in sizes that us guys could fit into. And right now New York Dance Store has Recital-satin" #202S,202SP by Sansha in Flesh color up to size 18...Here's the link..

nydancestore.com . . .(lea%20sole)&width=
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By stillkicking Comments: 18, member since Wed Jul 18, 2007
On Fri Oct 05, 2007 09:56 PM
I agree with your view on male dancers and pointe work. Pointe work is simply not part of the male dancers repertory. I danced my whole career, 20 years, and never danced on pointe. I think it will stay this way. I did the character role of the Head Mistress in Graduation Ball, in drag. It was like doing an ugly sister in Cinderella, but it was not on pointe. (character shoes)

As I have mentioned before: La La La human steps, uses males on pointe.

There is some work there if you look for it, but the field for a male on pointe remains small.

If you enjoy it, please continue. I have nothing but respect for your efforts.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Old_Ballet_Dude Comments: 555, member since Tue Mar 13, 2007
On Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:31 AM
I asked one of my ballet teachers if I could try pointe after a few years. She replied "Are you serious? Why would you want to try something that is only for the girls?" I replied that I wanted to learn pointe as an additional part of ballet. She wouldn't hear of it and replied rather coldly "And I suppose you'll want to wear a black leotard and pink tights to?"

I no longer take lessons at that studio!!!
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By PointeDanseur Comments: 98, member since Tue Dec 18, 2007
On Sun Dec 23, 2007 09:54 AM
Edited by PointeDanseur (189463) on 2007-12-23 10:14:34
I have to disagree with a comment i saw here about "its ok for men to do pointe, because ballet has always had a feminine nature to it, so it doesn't really matter if men want to do a feminine kind of ballet." That is crap.

Ballet was first a male performance art. Women used to not be allowed to be on stage at all. In fact, the attitude position, was derived by ballet master Carlo Blasis (1803-1878) from the statue of the Greek god (not goddess) Mercury sculpted by Giovanni di Balonga (another man). So no, ballet was not introduced as an art form for women. it was intended for men. Today, it has become (because of societal stigma) traditionally femenine, but don't let that fool us of the roots of our art form!

Just so I don't confuse anyone, let me say that I do take pointe class and i love it. Here's why. I started pointe because I needed more of a challenge. I also had some feet problems. As a dancer, especially with ballet, its all about the contact of the feet to the floor. Unlike modern or contemporary or jazz, ballet is not about compensation for bad feet by rolling on the floor instead. So I started point to improve the conncetion between me and the floor. My ankle strength, core stability, stronger awareness of articulation needed some fine tuning. Basically all the things that women seem to have nowadays naturally because they are forced to dance en pointe from age 13. After just 4 months, my technique has improved about 78 percent. Now, when I'm on flat, I never fall of releve, my pirouettes have become more centered, and my releves are soooo high and my weight is perfectly sent in between my first 2 toes (no more sickling!) I dye them black and my skin color with fabric dye pens. NO PINK FOR ME.

Anyway, I have not planned on performing en pointe, but thats only because there are not any venues that i know of for it beyond the trockaderos (which im just not interested in.) If anyone knows of a company that puts men on stage en pointe id love to know! I guess it would have to be a really contemporary company.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By Gaudium Comments: 1366, member since Wed Apr 14, 2004
On Mon Dec 24, 2007 09:39 AM
No one can dance a classical technique flawlessly, so you learn to dance a technique that hides your shortfalls. That is where Pointe comes into the pitcher. Understanding a good technique of Pointe gives a male that edge necessary to cheat and hide shortfalls that we all have. Ballet creates illusions, we should never worry about a perfect impossible technique, but rather dance in a way to look perfect.
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By ProLatinDancer Comments: 90, member since Sun Dec 15, 2002
On Wed Feb 13, 2008 04:29 AM
As some here know, I was new to ballet a few years back, just on the " right " side of 40. I'd never had great interest in ballet for it's own sake and took it up more to be doing OTHER dancing than my core "trades".

Into the third year, the ballet Mistress said to get fitted for pointes for strength work on the feet and ankles. I had no idea what they / that really entailed - but the fitting was interesting.

I also didn't know about the TABOO of men in pointes! We do about half of each barre with some pointe specific exercises, then rip back into the slippers for centre.

Man! It makes a difference!

PS for the guy above uncertain what to wear ? I wear 3/4 Block tights and then coloured short leg warmers over most of the pointes - you can do the work and you don't look feminine. A particular problem of mine is really high arches. I tried using elastics but would pull out of the shoe every time going through demi. Ballet Miss said to use the ribbons ... so they get tied but hidden under the leg warmers ....


CIAO
re: Do you think guys should learn pointe? Why/why not?
By danceboy69 Comments: 9, member since Thu Oct 25, 2007
On Wed Feb 13, 2008 02:50 PM
Pointe is an amazing thing. So wonderful to see in a dance. I don't see why gender should be the deciding factor if you should do it or not. If you wanted dance in pink dresses or something over the top yes. But pointe should be allowed for all.
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