Ballet or Batting?

Ballet-Dancer-June-17-BlogWhich gender do you associate with cricket? Now, what about ballet? I imagine that most of you will have answered ‘male’ for cricket and ‘female’ for ballet. The sad truth is that you’d be right. Less than 2% of ballet exam candidates are male and only 7% of cricketers are female.

To combat the problem the Royal Academy of Dance has teamed up with Marylebone Cricket Club in Project B. The aim of Project B is to challenge gender stereotypes in both dance and sport and encourage children of both sexes to partake in both.

We’ve all seen the film, Billy Elliot, in which a father sends his son to learn boxing. But the son yearns to be a professional ballet dancer, much to his father’s shame. There are many of us who still regard ballet as a feminine pastime, even in this day and age. But the truth is, ballet is a tough physical test. The world-famous bodybuilder, filmstar and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even took ballet classes early in his career. Here are some of the benefits of ballet for boys – and girls.

  • Strength and Muscular Endurance. Ballet involves a good deal of jumping and lifting so it’s no surprise that ballet dancers have greater than normal power. Ballet dancers are anything but weaklings!
  • Weight and Body Fat. Due to the high levels of activity (ballet involves a lot of hours practising) ballet dancers have lower levels of body fat than most of us. It’s a great way to keep yourself slim
  • Flexibility. If you’ve ever seen a ballet dancer doing the splits you won’t be surprised to learn that ballet is a fantastic way to increase the flexibility of your tendons. Can you touch your toes? Most ballet dancers can touch the floor with their palms!

Cricketer-June-17On the other side of the question is girls playing cricket. Many people feel that it’s a dangerous game for men but women’s cricket is starting to catch on. In fact, England have won the Women’s Cricket World Cup three times and are hosting this year’s event from June 24th to July 23rd. So, what benefits can girls get from playing the game? Here are just a few:

  • Teamwork. Cricket is a game in which players with different roles must all work together. Batsmen, bowlers, wicket keepers and fielders all come together for the greater good
  • Discipline. Unlike many other sports, cricket is more about technique than strength or speed. To be good at the game requires a lot of practise and self-discipline
  • Social Skills. Playing cricket encourages children to have respect for others and to ‘play fair’. It’s also a great way to make friends and to travel

To keep you informed, the EQ Knowledge Bank is a resource that tries to answer the questions frequently asked by parents. So, if there’s anything you’ve ever wondered about education or parenting in general, you may find the answers are just one click away!

What’s your attitude towards gender in sports and arts? Are the roles of girls and boys already assigned or should we encourage our children in whatever activity they prefer? Education Quizzes would love to hear your thoughts so please share them in the comments box below.

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