Guess what, America? Turns out that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry having a baby isn’t the only royal news of the moment. Prince George, our favorite little blonde-haired royal, is making headlines too after his dad gushed that his son is quite the dancer — and a ballet dancer at that.
The moment came Monday at a Kensington Palace reception for inspirational teens, when the Duke of Cambridge was chatting with a 14-year-old street dancer named Junior, whose mission is to fight bullying.
“George is doing dancing as well, he loves it,” William reportedly said to the teen in a video shared by Kensington Palace.
He then told Junior that his mother Princess Diana loved dancing too, and shared a piece of advice she gave him many years ago: “If it’s something you love, you do what you love. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Keep at it.”
As someone who might have an unhealthy obsession with the royal family, I love everything they do, everything they wear, and everything they say. They can pretty much do no wrong in my book. But I know that not everyone feels the same, especially about what’s “acceptable” as an extra-curricular activity for boys.
That’s why Prince William’s statement — as seemingly small as it was — feels so important. Sure, Prince George might wear knee socks and neckties more than my sweatpants-wearing sons do, but the bubbly 5-year-old is still a boy just the same. And to hear his dad proudly told the world — a world who hangs on his family’s every move — that his son takes ballet lessons and “loves it,” is kind of a big deal. Even if it shouldn’t be.
Because yes, boys can take ballet class — just like girls. Likewise, girls can play football and wrestle just like boys, too. And those are powerful and important messages for our boys and our girls to hear as they work to find their passions and potentially face bullying as a result. Whether it be football or ballet, no kid should deny themselves their passion for fear of it being the “wrong” activity for their gender.
Yet even in 2018, the world still has a long way to go when it comes to shedding archaic gender stereotypes that hold us all back.
People magazine reports that Prince George is in a 1-year curriculum at Thomas’s Battersea Ballet School where he attends a 35-minute lesson each week. The classes focus on the development of students’ “physical skills, stamina, creative, expression and musicality.”
I’ll be they do! I mean, have you seen the muscles on ballet dancers? I’d challenge anyone who says ballet is “not a manly sport” to try and keep up with any cast member from Swan Lake when it comes to strength or stamina. (And I bet they wouldn’t last five minutes into the workouts these dancers do every day.)
I can’t wait for the day society finally drops out-dated and judgmental “rules” about what boys and girls should and shouldn’t do, and just let people live their lives in the pursuit of their own happiness. As for me, I’ll be enjoying this year’s performance of The Nutcracker with my kids in a few weeks and applauding the incredible talent of all the dancers on stage. (Ahem, and I’ll also continue to stalk William and Kate and Meghan and Harry and all of their gorgeous little children, because once a shameless royal watcher, always a shameless royal watcher.)
So thank you to the Duke of Cambridge, for helping to break down such an archaic stereotype — by not only letting your son participate in whatever activity he wants to, but also proudly sharing that information with the world so that boys everywhere can be inspired to do what they love, as well.