Of Petits Rats and Men. Boys Dancers Vocation Facing Gender

Friday, 3 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.2.04 (Tower One)
Joel Laillier, university Toulouse 3, Toulouse, France
Based on a study about Paris Opera Ballet students and their families, this article questions the role of gender to understand how boys become ballet dancers. Because classical ballet is considered as a girls activity, young boys engaged in professionnel ballet school are in a complex situation : on one hand they are facing social stigma related to the transgression of the gender order, on the other hand they take advantage of their atypical calling. The research shows that responding to a dancer calling require a negociation with the gender identity in which social and familial conditions play a decisive role.