Saturday, October 18, 2014

Men's Master Class

Ballet is one of the few activities I can think of where men are a true minority. Others I could think of would be nursing and traditionally "home oriented" activities like sewing or knitting. I don't know about others' experiences, but it's quite common for me to be the only man in a class of 15-25 women, and the most man-heavy class I've been in had three or four other men in it.

In class Wednesday, one of the women handed out glossy cards advertising Ballet San Jose's "Master Class" series for the 2014-2015 season. One of them is a men's only class, taught by former ABT star José Manuel Carreño, now the artistic director of BSJ. I've only had a male ballet teacher once, when the director of ADI substituted for an instructor on vacation, and I think there is a lot I could learn from one. Of course, the problem is that the class is being held in San Francisco, 2500 miles from where I live near Washington, DC. Ever the optimist, I emailed my boss to see if it's likely that I'll have a need to be out on the left coast around that time, and he said yes, he'd pencil me in! The only hitch in the plan is that I may not know until 2 weeks before the class whether I'll actually be out here. The registrar at BSJ was kind enough to accommodate that, saying we could confirm or cancel my registration then.

Last night I checked the card to verify pricing. I knew the class he's teaching this month was $100, and was surprised to note that the men's class was only $50. After spending a lifetime seeing advertisements for various "Ladies' Nights" where women get discounts, this is quite the reversal. For once, being a man is getting me a discount!


  1. That is so awesome! I hope it all comes together for you!

    1. Thanks, Jill! The entrance criteria is "11 years old or older" which I certainly meet, but I'm really hoping I don't find myself the only beginner in a group of pro and pre-pro dancers.

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  3. If you look back at the school's older press releases, there's one stating that the school intends to include a specialty for training male dancers! Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

  4. Great to hear! Taking a men's class is so worth it. Unfortunately they are rare (at least for adults as you well know). I used to take one here in San Francisco before it dwindled and was discontinued. Anyway so I read that the BSJ master class will be at ODC. Enjoy! I sometimes take ballet there, and they have a lovely community and facility.


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