I thought after the delightful 2000 film Billy Elliot and the long-running musical of the same name, the world had collectively decided that little boys should be allowed to dance if they want to. However, it seems that we are still fighting the outdated gender stereotypes that mandate only little girls be encouraged to move their bodies rhythmically to music as if we are in some bizarre timeline in which we didn’t cry at Billy’s beautiful performance of Swan Lake.
On August, Good Morning America viewers were treated to a recitation of Prince George’s second-grade class schedule, which included ballet among a list of various other things an incredibly wealthy child might study at an elite school. Host Lara Spencer passed right over the fact that six-year-olds are now learning to code and giggled at the fact that the child and future king will learn a 600-year-old art form in his ballet lessons:
“Prince William said Prince George absolutely loves ballet...I have news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”
Rightfully, famous male dancers, including So You Think You Can Dance artistic director Travis Wall and choreographer for Cher and Britney Spears Brian Friedman, were quick to point out the stigma and mockery they have endured for being men who enjoyed dancing, along with pointing out the absolute bullshittery of an adult mocking a child for anything, but especially for taking delight in an incredibly wholesome hobby. In an Instagram video, Wall took Spencer and all adult bullies to task pushing their own nonsensical gender biases onto children:
“You’ve now added fuel to the fire to a massive problem in this country, which is bullying… The next time you want to laugh at a child for taking a dance class or laugh at them at all, look at yourself in the mirror and ask do you want to be a bully today?’”
After everyone got mad, Spencer issued the standard Instagram apology:
“My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday. From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it.”
I would much rather Prince George go for preserving the tradition of ballet than monarchy, much like I was overjoyed to see Billy choose ballet over coal mining, but I suppose he has a few years to decide.