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30 August 2019, 13:22 | Updated: 30 August 2019, 14:17
Hundreds of male dancers congregated in New York’s Times Square in support of Prince George, who last week was mocked by a US TV host for taking ballet.
Ballet dancers gathered in New York’s Times Square this week to voice support for Prince George, whose interest in ballet was mocked by a US TV host.
Lara Spencer, who hosts Good Morning America, said last week: “Prince William says George absolutely loves ballet. I have news for you, Prince William: we’ll see how long that lasts.”
Famous choreographers condemned her remark, and Spencer has since apologised for her comments about the third in line to the UK throne.
Spencer’s remark sparked off an immense reaction on Twitter, with several male dancers posting videos with the hashtag #BoysDanceToo.
Travis Wall, choreographer for the musical The Wrong Man MCC, said: “Boys dance too. Shut out that laughter and you can be successful if you work really hard.”
Beth Ackroyd, a dance graduate, said: “The fact that not only a young boy doing ballet, but an entire art form was ridiculed live on national television is a disgrace. I could reel off the numerous mental, physical and social benefits of ballet but as we are in 2019 I shouldn’t have to.”
Spencer’s comments inspired a chain of tweets in support of Prince George, and any other young boys who might be interested in dance.
Dear @LaraSpencer, this boy loves ballet. He also loves tap, and dancing to just about any song he hears (or makes up himself). Yesterday, you didn’t just laugh at Prince George; you laughed at every little boy who loves to dance. Do better. #boysdancetoo pic.twitter.com/mbSZVuwKZU— Chrissy Newell (@MrsNewell22) August 23, 2019
Hey Prince George. 😊 Don't listen when they say boys shouldn't learn ballet. This was one seriously cool man, that went to ballet classes as a boy. When he grew up, ladies (and guys) loved him and all his dance moves. 😍😍😍#boysdancetoo pic.twitter.com/oznNK9sM84— Hel (@HLucibello) August 23, 2019
Hey @GMA . If @LaraSpencer thinks a boy doing ballet is funny, have her do this sequence live on air. I guarantee you that would be funnier than shaming a young boy who is passionate about the art of dance. 👀#BoysDanceToo #ArtSavesLives #GoodMorningAmerica #LaraSpencer pic.twitter.com/FDlXKMTDRF— DuJuan Smart, Jr. (@DJSmartJr) August 23, 2019
In a more recent interview with The Telegraph, Royal Ballet star Gary Avis said Spencer’s comments brought back memories of his own childhood, when he was a teenage boy with a love for ballet.
“Some days,” Avis recalls, “my mother would greet me at the door after school and take off my coat and put it straight into the washing machine, because I’d been spat at on the journey home.”
But, he continued, it paid off. “Mum thought learning to dance would bring me out of my shell.
“And she was right. That summer, it was like the touch paper was lit, and off I went.”