The unique children’s book “Boys Dance!” celebrates young male dancers to follow their passion for dancing and spotlights male role models in the ballet community. The “Boys Dance!” author John Robert Allman wanted to work on the children’s picture book to celebrate classical male dancers that have yet to be represented in children’s literature.
Allman consulted eight male performers of the American Ballet Theatre and the book features photos with testimonies for the dancers in the epilogue. Allman explained that the media portrayal of male dancers made it seem OK to explore this art form when he believes it should be celebrated by showcasing historic male dance figures.
The book mentions famous male dancers that influenced various forms of dance including Bob Fosse, Savion Glover, Paul Taylor, Gene Kelly, and Gregory Hines. The book also explores the benefits of dancing that helps to improve physical health, academic skills, and athletic abilities.
B IS FOR BALLET: Rachael Dean
BOYS DANCE: Luciano Lozano pic.twitter.com/VPm7O1JSVg
— AmericanBalletTheatre (@ABTBallet) September 22, 2020
Allman wanted to create a book that encourages boys and let them know it’s okay if they want to explore dancing. One of the principal dancers who participated in “Boys Dance!” James B. Whiteside has publicly expressed his personal experience of being bullied and stereotyped for being a ballet dancer.
Allman hopes that this book will create an inspiring portrayal of dancers and was released just in time to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the American Ballet Theatre. The author was inspired by “Boys Dance!” after publishing his debut alphabet book, “A Is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies From A to Z.”
The first alphabet book was inspired by Broadway and the sequel alphabet book “B Is for Ballet” that was released along with “Boys Dance!” Though all the performances for the 80th anniversary of the American Ballet Theatre are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all participants in this book project hope to inspire the next generation of dancers.