DANSEUR Examines Bullying of Ballet Boys

Documentary Looks at Boys Braving Bullies & Negative Stereotypes to Pursue their Ballet Dreams

Presented by The Royal Academy of Dance’s Project B

DANSEUR is a highly acclaimed film that tackles serious issues of bullying and negative stereotypes of males in dance, and will screen at special events for the first time in Australia on 25th September and in New Zealand on 3rd October.

The premiere events are supported by The New Zealand School of Dance and the Royal Academy of Dance (Australia and NZ) who actively support the pursuit of dance as a career for boys;  as it’s too often the case that young boys stop dancing because of bullying, not because they have lost their passion for dance.

DANSEUR, by NuArts Productions, features interviews and footage of professional dancers James Whiteside (American Ballet Theatre), John Lam (Boston Ballet), Harper Watters (The Houston Ballet), and Derek Dunn (Boston Ballet) plus other males in the dance industry.

Following the screenings attendees will have the opportunity for exclusive Q&As ‘In Conversation’ with the film’s US director Scott Gormley and a panel of industry professionals in each city.

In Sydney, the post-screening In Conversation will be with the film’s Scott Gormley, RAD MaleDance Ambassador Matthew Lawrence , Ballet Brothers’ founder Jake Burden, and Mitchell Rayner, former dancer with The Australian Ballet and a student of our new Professional Dancers’ Postgraduate Teaching Certificate (PDPTC).

New York-based filmmaker Scott Gormley’s documentary explores issues experienced by young men in ballet and follows several male dancers, some gay, some straight, and portrays with frank honesty their relationship with those stereotypes associated with men in dance. The film examines how boys overcome the barriers of social bias, and tells this story through the eyes of artists from some of America’s major ballet companies, as well as young aspiring male dancers.

Harper Watters

“I’ve spent the last two years creating a documentary about the struggles that young men face when they choose to dance ballet… while directing and producing Danseur, I’ve seen over and over again the clear-cut lines we draw on society around what boys ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ do,” said Scott Gormley in The Advocate.com

The Royal Academy of Dance and Project B feel privileged to co-host this important event. “As a global organisation supporting young people to learn and have opportunities to grow creatively through dance, the RAD has for some time been acutely aware of the stigma associated with boys learning dance. Hence, the introduction of Project B – an initiative to highlight the energy, athleticism and commitment that dance demands – and it is these very qualities that can attract boys to dance. The way in which the movie DANSEUR highlights the struggles that some boys go through to realise their dream to dance, is an important social message that the RAD and NZSD are proud to present,” said Bronwyn Williams, National Director NZ Royal Academy of Dance.

The RAD hopes that this premiere will initiate an important dialogue around these issues and feel proud to support young people pursuing their dreams. The release of this film is of utmost importance not only to boys who dance but also for anyone who faces obstacles whilst pursuing their passion to forge a career.

A Documentary about boys braving bullies and silencing stereotypes in pursuit of their ballet dreams


Sydney, Australia
Saturday 29th September, 5:30pm
Dendy Opera Quays, East Circular Quay
Tickets: www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=388113&

Wellington, NZ
Wednesday 3rd October, 6:30pm
Embassy Theatre, 10 Kent Street
Tickets: www.nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/events/danseur