This 11-Year-Old Ballet Boy Has a Message for People Who Think Ballet Is a "Girl Thing"

May 16, 2017

Say it with us: BOYS DO BALLET. Lots of boys. And some of them grow up to be the danseurs who inspire thousands on the world’s biggest stages.

But when you’re the only male ballet student at your studio, fighting dumb stereotypes about ballet being for girls, it’s easy to feel alone. That’s what makes this video featuring Gabriel Romero, an 11-year-old ballet student at Philadelphia Dance Center, especially meaningful.

In the vid—part of the “60 Second Docs” series, which profiles people with interesting stories—Gabe describes his love of ballet, a “way to put your emotions into movement.” He’s frustrated with the fact that most boys dismiss ballet because they “just think in one direction: dancing is ‘girly.’ ” But he ultimately doesn’t care what other people think. Because all that matters is “what your inner passion is.” And he encourages other boys interested in dance to join him in ignoring the haters.

For the record, ballet boys: There are many different ways to be a beautiful male dancer, and some of them do involve looking “girly” or “feminine.” But the central message here is not to let anything get in your way as you pursue the art you love.