Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Damian Woetzel Gives Boys a Leg Up in School

October 07, 1994|BENJAMIN EPSTEIN

Damian Woetzel remembers that when he growing up, he was "the only boy in ballet classes."

But this year, in the New York City Ballet's summer school program at Saratoga Springs in New York, there were 15 boys. Woetzel, one of NYCB's principal dancers and emerging choreographers, had taken over directorship of the program from Heather Watts and his first "pet project," he said, had been to increase the number of male students.

"Peer pressure being what it is in this country, (boys) have enough obstacles," Woetzel said. "Psychologically, (my task was) to make them feel ballet is a comfortable thing to do. It shouldn't be odd if you're the only boy in a class of 30, but if you can get 15 boys together, it's a lot easier for them to feel good about it.

"Some of them look at it artistically; some look at it as a sport, some just like to be around the girls. We had them all."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|