Midsummer Night's Nightmare: Has the Thought of Returning Back to School Horrified You or Your Dancer?

On the last day of school everyone was so excited.  SUMMER BREAK! NO HOMEWORK!  Not for me.  My mother put me to work.  My sister and I would have major projects around the house to do.  Dishes?  Please.  Try painting a picket fence around an acre of land.  I think I was 10 the first time she had us do it.  Taking out the garbage?  I wish.  Try scrubbing a 600 square foot deck with nothing but a garden hose and one of those green dish scrubber things.  Cutting down trees, picking up apples and wheel barreling them to the back of the yard, mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower (once with one that was a non powered)... these were the things I had to look forward to doing.  But I have to tell you, every July, when I was at my wits end doing all this labor at home on my vacation”, I would remember, school is coming and my attitude changed to gratitude.  Remembering that school was coming gave me a panic attack.  I didnt HATE school.  I liked to learn and I usually had a lot of friends.  But, come on, a male gymnast in middle school?  School wasnt a year of education; it was a sentence to a year of bullying.  Just because I chose to flip instead of hit.  


The bullying topic is a big one (Ill be talking about it often), so I thought Id talk about when the anxiety started for me, and ask, does this happen to your dancer in the summer when school is still 7 or 8 weeks away?  And is there something that anyone does in the summer that helps their son (if they are bullied) recover from whatever garbage happened to them during the school year?  Is the summer a chance to have them build an even stronger relationship with dance that it is what keeps them going during the school year of harassment?  Or maybe its a time of year where the dancer can explore his strength and understanding of his body from his dance training and apply it to a couple sports so gym class isnt horrible?  If there are midsummer night's nightmares happening, is there something we can do about it?


  • Arianne

    Well, like most of the other posts, my son started dancing at age three. Until middle school there were only minor issues with bullying. But now in middle school the is tremendous. He is a very sensitive child that takes things very personally. There are three boys that have him convinced that he has anger issues. I have assured him that he does not. He does erupt in temper after these three boys continually push his buttons out of the teachers sight. He is now talking about giving up what he truely loves, being on stage.
    I am at my wits end becasue the school is refusing to do anything except label my kid as having a problem. I am considering legal help in this. Any suggestions?

  • Patrick

    We have been very lucky with our son, his dancing, and bullying at school. Since he started quite young (3 years old), dancing is endemic to who he is for his classmates, and they don’t treat him any differently. In fact, he has performed in his school’s talent shows, and the reception afterwards has been fantastic. Kids 3 – 4 grades ahead of him give him Hi-5s in the hallway, calling him the Dance-Man. He has such a positive influence on his classmates in that one of his buddies (a football/lacrosse player) joined up 3 years ago for hip-hop (my son does all the dance disciplines except for ballet).

    There may be a couple of other factors contributing to the lack of bullying experienced. The first is that my son is also quite well-versed in sports (soccer & basketball) so he is seen as “one of the guys” from that point of view. The other is the “benefits” of dancing with a lot of pretty girls. His friends are a bit jealous when they see who he gets to hang with for 5 nights a week (even thought to him they are just his fellow dancers).

    The big test will be next year when he starts high school (Grade 8). I am concerned that some of the older students may not be as kind as his fellow school mates. But, I know that my son will always dance, so everyone else might as well as accept it and enjoy it!

  • Rachel

    My son is only turning 7 this fall and is going into 1st grade. So far he has not been bullied. I hope he does not end up getting bullied when he is older. But I guess we will have to wait and see :(

  • Jodie

    My son just graduated from high school this past June. He began dancing at a local studio at age 10, and the bullying began shortly after. There were no other boys at his studio for the first couple of years, and then, only really little boys. This year, in his 8th year of dance at the studio, he again was the only boy… Where are all of the boys?

    4 years ago, my son tried out for his high school’s Dance Team. He made it, and had the honor of being the only boy ever chosen for the team since the school opened in the mid 1960’s. I thought it was quite an accomplishment! Unfortunately, most boys at the high school didn’t see it that way. My son was called names on an almost daily basis. Thank God he had the confidence to continue doing what he loved! By 11th grade, he was Co-Captain of the team, and was chosen as Captain this past year. In a few weeks my son will be attending CSU Long Beach as a Dance Major. I support him 100% and hope he continues to do what he loves, no matter what others may feel about it. I truly do not understand what the “stigma” is when it comes to male dancers. It’s so sad because so many boys probably miss out on doing what they love because either their parents or others have issues with it. :-/

  • Katrina

    My son started dancing at age 3, so when it was time for him to start school, I found a magnet elementary school that had an arts based education where every child (kindergarten to 5th) took ballet, jazz, drama, voice, & had the oppertunity to take tap, learn a string instrument, and a few other arts based activities that I can’t recall. For middle school he was able to go to another magnet school that offered advanced dance classes, drama, boys chorus, boys hip hop, orchestra, and tae kwon do. Athough none of the school offered dance classes were very challenging it made what he did socially acceptable & the some of the kids even came to watch him at competitions & recital. He starts high school in a few short weeks & can’t wait. I wish this was every male dancers experience and it saddens me to know that boys are getting bullied for being dancers or gymnasts.

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