In some ways, our society has come a long way from the traditional gender roles and expectations that dominated our grandparents, and even our parents, generations. More and more names are unisex, dads stay at home while women go to work, everyone shares in the housework and childrearing, etc.
That said, we have a long ways to go in some ways, too, as the workload at home isn’t really even close to actually equal, the lgbtq continually has to fight for their rights, and yes, traditional gender expectations still reign supreme in much of the world.
For instance, it’s still more common for girls to want to take a ballet class than boys – and the boys who do follow their interests into a ballet studio might find themselves teased for doing so.
Allman, a lifelong New Yorker, says his love of the stage inspired him to tackle the topic, and in his mind, the book will give boys who enjoy dancing in general – and ballet in particular – an opportunity to feel seen.With sweet illustrations by Luciano Lozano, Boys Dance! is, for Allman, a chance to “make sure that boys would be able to see dance as something they can – and should – get into if they want to.”
Using rhymes and couplets, the book explains how studying dance can boost physical health, as well as academic and athletic skills, all while acknowledging how stars like Savion Glover and Gene Kelly defined eras and influenced modern styles.
A 2019 Good Morning America controversy, in which host Lara Spencer mocked little Prince George for enrolling in ballet, also convinced Allman the book was needed.