This is by Nina Amir.
Okay…well…I really didn’t want to get into this, but I’ve been encouraged on by my faithful reader, Queenie, and, by my son, Julian. Yes, he feels it is very important for me to share the privileged information he received from his ballet teacher, and which, I must add, he was very pleased to receive, so that other boys might not suffer the embarrassment – and pain – of misplaced “stuff” in their dance belts.
First, what is a dance belt? If you haven’t ever seen or heard of this item of dance clothing, its basically a thong for guys who dance. It’s worn under their dance tights, usually in ballet and jazz (or any time a boy or man wears tight-fitting and bun-featuring attire). However, it is not a jock strap. It offers no protection from a girls misplaced foot or partnering turn gone wrong. (In fact, Julian says it makes boys more likely to get hit where it hurts most.) It simply positions the male genitalia in such a way that it is featured in, well, how should I say it?…a neat package. And it shows off the boy’s rear end, which hopefully is nice and muscled, without any “panty lines,” as Queenie says. (If you want to see a picture of a dance belt and hear about another kid’s experience with one, go to her blog, http://theshoestringprince.blogspot.com/2008/10/good-bad-dance-belt.html.)
My son at first hated his dance belt and found it terribly uncomfortable. I wasn’t surprised, being a mom who has shunned the female thong and never understood how women could find that strap up their butt crack comfortable. (Okay, now you probably know more about me than you needed to know.) However, he wore it to ballet class on a daily basis, as well as in performances, and even in many of his jazz classes.
He did complain that sometimes it chaffed…and he didn’t like being in it for many hours at a time. These days, however, he says he’s used to it and can be in it all day. (I guess that’s what happens to women eventually, too.) But, he has since had some lessons in how to actually position his “stuff,” as he calls it, in the dance belt. (See the comments from yesterday’s blog post. You’ll get a good laugh, I promise.)
Julian was lucky enough to have a male ballet teacher who took pity on him and the one other boy in ballet class and one day took them aside and taught them how to actually position their genitalia in their dance belts. (I cannot imagine a female ballet teacher doing this…) Now, some of you might say, “Oh, no! That’s a really weird thing for a teacher to do!” But, someone had to teach these poor boys how to use those thongs, and I surely didn’t know what to tell Julian and neither did his dad (who wears cotton, baggy boxers – now you know too much about him, too). And we assumed he was wearing them “correctly.” Little did any of us know that he had his “stuff” hanging too low. In fact, the boys had the dance belts on but all their “stuff” just landed in that little sack at the front however it landed. There was no conscious effort made to position it.
Now think about the male ballet dancers you’ve seen. See them up there on stage, and let your eye travel to the place you are supposed to be avoiding looking at…their crotch. (Oh, you know you’ve looked there before…) Notice that everything is neatly packaged in that dance belt and upfront. Nothing is hanging low or looking messy.
This was not the case for Julian and his ballet buddy. They were packaged up but hanging low and messy to boot. So, their kind and conscientious teacher (and I meant that), who I will not name here (although I’d love to give him credit), took them aside and taught them the fine art of “scoop and swoop.” Yes…dare I say it…once the boy has the dance belt on, he reaches in and scoops up his “stuff” and swoops it upward and positions it front and center. And there it stays.
The boys, of course, had to ask if this was supposed to “make it look bigger.” The answer came back: “No, just neater.”
But we aren’t done with the lesson. I wish we were. Julian informed me that I had to include this last part, but I’m not including the terminology. I refuse. The boys found that once they had their ballet tights over the dance belt, during class the seam on the tights, which are very tight, that ran down the front of the tights would create an indent and find a way to nestle into the crevices of the dance belt. You know, the nooks and crannies that weren’t “filled” with “stuff.” They didn’t like the effect, so they went to their devoted teacher and began to explain what was happening.
He knew immediately what they were talking about and called it by a name I’d rather not mention here, although Julian really wanted me to (Sorry Julian…), and offered them an easy solution. He told them to inconspicuously pinch their tights at that location and pull them out and up, dislodging the seam from the indents in the dance belt. This is called “pluck and pull.” And then, I suppose (Julian didn’t mention this), pull the tights up some more at the waist.
So, that’s the lesson for today: How to wear a dance belt. I suppose you could try it yourself first…or go buy a thong. Hopefully your son will find a thoughtful and conscientious male teacher who will teach him in an appropriate fashion saving you the trouble. If not, you might have to take on the job yourself. Now at least you’ll know how to instruct him.
If your son has other boys in class wearing dance belts, don’t expect them to teach each other. Julian says its “way too awkward” to offer another guy the instruction he received. I’m sure it was awkward for Julian’s teacher, which is why I really do give him so much credit for having done it. I’m not sure what would happen if a boy asked another boy for instruction…maybe, depending on the boy, he’d get help. It would be worth a try.