According to a recent government survey, just 7 per cent of kids aged under 14 who dance are boys.
But that’s certainly not the case at Paterson’s Studio Sarah-Jane, where roughly 20 per cent of the students are male.
Studio principal Sarah-Jane Gerada said she had always had a high number of boys, but this year had a record 20 males out of about 100 students.
This year was also the first time Ms Gerada had sold out the studio’s end of year concert, with about 400 people packing into Maitland Town Hall to see the students perform last Friday.
Ms Gerada said being in a small, tight-knit town, a lot of families had multiple siblings in the dance school and many boys had joined after seeing their sisters perform.
“It’s really lovely,” she said.
“In the past dancing was looked on differently by males. There was a bit of stigma around it being just for girls.
“It’s really beautiful that has changed. As a society there has been a shift. Boys are accepted doing traditionally female sports and the same for girls.
“The boys can participate in dance and not feel embarrassed.”
Ms Gerada said another misconception was that dancing had to be feminine. The boys participate in tap and hiphop classes, and this year the hiphop group even had some breakdance training from a male teacher.
“It doesn’t have to be just shaking your hips,” Ms Gerada said. “There are different styles and strengths.”
Ms Gerada said the boys were also really supportive of the girls and believed it was also beneficial for the girls to see boys can dance too.
She is hoping to source a male teacher for the boys next year to help improve their skills even further.