Nobody Puts Glen and Brian in a Corner!
Tired students yawned through another ordinary assembly and the annual Fall Fair announcement when all of a sudden, a music mashup blared over the loud speakers. A few students flew down the stairs, jumped on the stage, and started dancing, as the rest of the Academy watched in shock. Throughout the song, the Upper School dance class members gradually joined in the dancing, akin to a flash mob. Dancers included two of the newer members of the class and the only males, senior Glen Harris and junior Brian Klarman. “It takes a real man to do dance!” said junior Kahlil Nevett-James after watching the performance. The Pace dance class has been commanded by the girls for the past couple of years, but now the boys are ready to show what they’ve got.
Glen danced outside of school through sixth grade, and he joined the dance class to add some diversity to the class and to satisfy his love for dance. In a class dominated by talented girls, it can be difficult to stand out as a male dancer. “I don’t feel threatened because we hold our own weight; there are different aspects of dance that we are all good at,” said Glen. Brian, on the other hand, entered dance class as a total beginner. He said that the girls’ talent was a little “intimidating” at first. The dance instructor believes that gender diversity “opens the door to so many more styles of dance,” citing “partnering and lifting” as examples. The boys in the class have the special privilege of lifting the girls, which, although appearing easy to spectators, requires perfect form and lots of physical strength. When lifting, it is necessary for the lifter to bend down, put his hands under the girl’s rib cage, and “lift with your core,” Brian stressed. He admitted that lifting was at first difficult for him because he was trying to lift with his arms, instead of his core. “I am very weak in my arms and can only lift about 50 pounds,” he joked.
When he first signed up for dance class, Brian was a little apprehensive. “I was unsure if I wanted to attend a class where I might be the only boy, but it has been really cool to see how the female world interacts with each other,” he said. He has also enjoyed the class atmosphere, especially when the teacher has to explain dance moves and lifts to Glen in simpler terms. Brian recounted, “Earlier today, the teacher told Glen to do a plier, and Glen looked at him in confusion and was, like, you mean like a squat?”
Some students would be nervous to perform a dance during morning assembly, but not Glen. “I was excited to perform in front of the school because now people actually know I’m serious when I say I’m in dance,” Glen said. Brian was a little more nervous, however: “I was a little scared, but the instructor got me through it.” The dance class choreographed the routine themselves, which added a personal touch to their seemingly impromptu performance. Glen and Brian, although seriously outnumbered, have clearly stepped up to show the school what they can do. Maybe students will now think twice before asserting that boys can’t dance.
By Suzanne Monyak, Staff Writer ’13