Remember: The bully is the weaker person. Photo by Francisco Gonzalez/Unsplash
Being bullied, unfortunately, is still a common experience among dance students, particularly male dance students. But there are a variety of strategies that you can use to help deal with difficult emotions and restore self-confidence.
Name calling, physical intimidation and cyberbullying are all-too-common experiences among male dancers. Photo by Goh Rhy Yan/Unsplash
Growing up in a family-owned dance studio in Missouri had its perks for tap dancer Anthony Russo. But it also earned him constant taunting, especially in high school.
"There was a junior in my sophomore year health class who was absolutely relentless," he says. "I'd get tripped on my way to the front of the classroom and he'd say, 'Watch out, twinkle toes.' If I raised my hand and answered a question incorrectly, I'd hear a patronizing 'Nice one, Bojangles.' "
When Michael Vadacchino, co-founder of the online dancewear store Boys Dance Too, visited a competition to ask a customer if he would model for the site, he was able to find him easily. This boy was one of only three in the entire competition.
Small numbers like these are why Vadacchino and his business partner, Sarah Singer, have planned their next venture: The Male Dancer Conference.