International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Leaping and Landing; A Male Ballet Dancer’s Journey

Abstract

 

Before I could walk, I have been told, I jumped.  In the Minneapolis apartment my parents rented, using a convenient door frame, they hung what was called a Johnny Jump Up.  Often, when my parents, now in their 80’s, take me on a journey down memory lane, they recall my spending hours in the Johnnie Jump Up and share how they then thought I was destined for an athletic future.  Suspended from hanging springs, I jumped without a care and certainly no concern for landing. My observing parents didn’t imagine that my energy and joy in jumping would later find itself a home in ballet.  They didn’t consider this option because, other than the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, the popular male movers of the time were athletes.  The athleticism of dance was not generally celebrated in America. And besides, was dance really meant for boys?