Camp Fire’s promise states that Young people want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now.

Kameron has grown up in Camp Fire after school and summer programming.  He recently shared this blog - passionately lifting his voice and finding others who echo his sentiment to help shape the world by responding to issues that affect him and his Spark.

In today society boys in dance are considered either very feminine or “gay”. This issue has gotten way out of hand and needs to be addressed immediately. This our time as dancers to stand up. A few days ago, there was an offensive comment on a national TV show, Good Morning America.

This comment was made by Laura Spencer she said, “Prince William says Prince George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: We’ll see how long that lasts. I mean, he might! He might end up … Between the religious studies and the computer programming, I just want to go back to the Play-Doh!”  

The statement made me feel really upset, but also made me want to have a voice for all young men who enjoy dancing speak out on being stereotyped. Everyone should be able to express themselves through whatever avenue they desire, without feeling gender bound. I wasn’t alone.

This comment ended up going viral on the internet and even got into the hands of some of the world's best male dancers such as World of Dance judge Derek Hough who said, “For a brief moment it brought up old unpleasant memories of being mocked and laughed at for being a boy who danced,” the World of Dance judge wrote in an Instagram post after watching Spencer’s segment. ”He added, “Fortunately, that feeling dissipated quickly in knowing that the climate of dance, especially for young men in this generation is thriving more than ever, celebrated and appreciated. We are in a new era and time, especially for dance and its perception. The tone and mockery towards dance are just dated, old and not relevant anymore. Those who mock don’t understand.” 

This also got the attention of American dancer and choreographer Brian Friedman “See this cute face, the future King of England?” the celebrity choreographer wrote on Instagram alongside an image of Prince George. “This adorable boy is being shamed by a grown woman on National Television in America for taking ballet! @lara.spencer you should be ashamed of yourself as well as @gstephanopoulos for laughing along & @goodmorningamerica for letting public shaming of young boys happen.”

As these other dancers came forward and shared their experiences and voices, it really motived me to blog this piece and want to voice my feelings. There may be others after me that need encouragement to express themselves without shame or to know that they are being support by others. I truly learned those values through Camp Fire.

Laura did apologize for her comment, “My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday,” she wrote. “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.”

As a dancer myself, I personally felt attacked when I heard this comment because I, too, have been bullied for my passion of dance, but it is very important to keep your head up. We as a dance community should stick together as one.   

 

Kameron Bryant is a guest blogger. This blog was originally prepared as a class assignment in early September 2019.