Being the “different” person in a group can be rough. While it can be special being the “only one” sometimes, it can also be alienating and feel lonely–especially for kids who are just beginning to make friends and find their own identities in the world. This is why I absolutely love the fact that an 11-year-old boy is totally owning the fact that he’s the only boy in dance class.
Gabriel Romero is the only boy who dances in his class at Thom McIntyre’s Philadelphia Dance Center. While you’d think this would be the point of contention for him (because boys are taught that dancing is for “girls only”), he doesn’t care at all. If anything, he thinks more boys should be dancing. He told this to 60 Second Docs:
“Of course, I would love for more boys to be encouraged to dance, but most boys just think in one direction. ‘Dancing is for sissies, it’s girly,’ but it takes as much effort to be a football player as it is for a dancer.”
Passion, dedication, and individuality are three things that Gabriel clearly has–which is so inspiring to see for anyone, but especially parents and kids–it’s an example how kids can build their confidence without feeling as if they need to change to fit in or be cool.
In the documentary, Gabriel says that we should all follow our passion, regardless of what others think.
How many adults follow that advice? Probably not enough. But we should. And we should encourage our kids to as well.
Listen to Gabriel below–he’s my new personal hero: