Boys interested in expressing themselves through dance are virtually unrepresented in visual culture. They are also the minority gender in dance classes, and may encounter peer pressure to drop their pursuit in favor of other athletic outlets. All Boy documents and validates their dedication to and enjoyment of dance.

Growing up within regulating societal pressures is no less of a challenge for boys than for girls. Each faces obstacles to the development of a sense of individuality and a sense of belonging as well. The youthful male body involved in dance practice and training engages with and subverts American notions of gender identity and sexuality. Inevitably, the boys in these images have or will have to negotiate the territory where the body and the self will interface with the social body, and find both contention and support. I admire them for their adventurousness and daring, as well as for their grace and toughness, seriousness and exuberance, frailty and strength, clumsiness and poise.

“He’s all boy” is a popular phrase adults sometimes use to compliment the parents of a son who exhibits rough, reckless or agressive behaviors. Although tomgirl is popularly invoked in order to praise a girl’s behavior for the inclusion of “masculine” sensibilities, boys are praised for the eradication of so-called “feminine” preoccupations, mannerisms, sensibilities, hobbies, skills, emotional intelligence, etc. They must become all boy, implying that there might be set of physcial behaviors that are natural and immutable. Titling the series All Boy reclaims and contests the meaning of such a term, seeks to expand boy culture and the construction of masculinity beyond narrow and limiting mainstream formulations.

 
     
 
 
     

 

 
 
 
West Uram, independent dancer
Elijah Brown, Carole Dance Studio
 

 

 
 
 
Tanner Jessup, Carole Dance Studio
Brandyn Lowry and Tanner Jessup, Carole Dance Studio