Adam Davidson

Adam Davidson’s Story

Abolishing Stereotypes
“I grew up in a town where hockey and rugby are huge and I played both for many years.When the boys on the teams found out that I was dancing they did start making fun of me on and off the field/rink.”

Adam Davidson
Zephyr, Ontario
Company Member Since 2020

I started dancing when I was twelve years old after a friend invited me to join her for her studio’s “bring a friend to class” day. I started dancing because I enjoyed the precision and athleticism that dance gave me and the opportunity to learn and experience just as much if not more than the sports I was playing at the time. As I got older, it evolved into an appreciation for the artform.

I looked up to Edward Villella, a ballet dancer who was also a minor boxing champion. I found his story very inspiring and relatable and he was the closest thing to a role model for me.

A very common stereotype that male dancers have to face is being labeled as a homosexual. I faced this very early on when I started dancing and into the beginning of high school. There are so many ways this stereotype is made. It could be that the men wear tights; that because dance is an art from, it’s considered more feminine. The reasons these are incorrect is the simple fact that we are people and we come in all shapes and sizes and have an infinite number of preferences. We all love to dance just as others love to do what they love to do. It’s as simple as that.

I grew up in a town where hockey and rugby are huge and I played both for many years. When the boys on the teams found out that I was dancing they did start making fun of me on and off the field/rink.

At first, I was really good at keeping the fact I was taking dance class a secret. After practice (rugby and hockey), I would rush to the change room and be out before the rest of the team could see me drive away. But after a while they obviously heard and caught on to the fact that I was also a dancer. One day at a rugby practice, I was standing with my team mates on the side lines and one of them walks past me and laughs to him-self “there’s twinkle toes.” So, practice goes on and now we start training full contact. I get the ball and get tackled out of bounds, and instead of helping me up which would have been the courteous thing to do after a hard tackle and the end of play, he looks at me and says, “did you forget your tights at home.” And that’s when it all started for me. But instead of going and talking about it to an adult (parents, coach, teacher etc.) I decided to deal with it myself and ended up getting into a whole bunch of fights.

At first it was because I was angry and hurt because I had played with these boys for years and then suddenly, they had turned on me in an instant. But as we got older the harassment got more and more intense and so did the fights and they even were transferred onto the field and rink on some occasions. Continuing to play with them for so many years even though they tormented me was more a pride and honor thing than anything else. I was not going to let them push me out of the things I loved. As we grew up some did apologize and move on, but others never did, and after a while I just stopped caring. Let them say what they want, it made no difference to me. Once I made the decision to do dance full time and stop playing sports, I was the happiest I had ever been and that was all that mattered.

Go to an adult and talk it out with the bullies. Fighting and violence is never the answer. If I had a mentor, things could have turned out better for me instead of getting into fights.

The thing I love most about dance is that it’s an ever-changing form of self expression and allows viewers a diverse selection of styles to choose from. Many classical works can have flexibility in choreographically. Different companies having different endings for the same piece which makes watching ballet more interesting. As a viewer you are less likely to see the exact same ballet performed by two different companies.

Life as a male dancer will definitely be full of obstacles inside and outside of the workplace. Some vastly simpler to overcome than others, but just remember that you have a community of people who are going through or who have been through similar if not the exact same situation you are, and even if you feel like you are alone you really aren’t.