The perspiration drips down junior Walter Lagerblade’s nose as he holds the stretch. He has been holding this stretch for what feels like five minutes and it is definitely taxing. At the end of the two-hour class that Lagerblade attends once a week, the physical and mental strain takes its toll.
Lagerblade dances at Dance Vision on Merle Hay Road in three different classes: hip hop, conditioning and ballet, a total of four hours and 45 minutes each week.
Sophomore Gavin Mumm also dances at Dance Vision with Lagerblade in some of the same classes. “Dancing is a thing I do to let go,” Mumm said. Dancing is an outlet for both Lagerblade and Mumm to clear their heads while having fun.
The physical aspect of dancing is very demanding especially of male dancers. The National Center for Biotechnology Information claims that dancing is a sport with high physical demands, from current choreography and performance schedules, that make fitness just as important as skill development in dance.
“The guys are the ones that lift up the girls all the time so we have to be strong,” Lagerblade said.
Junior Brittney Lunders dances at Dance Vision with Lagerblade and Mumm. “Dancing with the boys is fun because it’s different choreography then just dancing with girls,” Lunders said. “Dances are more feminine with girls and less with girls and boys.”
Lunders has been partnered with boys before but never Lagerblade or Mumm. “I enjoy dancing with a partner even though we don’t do it as much it’s completely different than dancing by yourself.”
Lagerblade used to work out to keep in shape for dance but has recently struggling with finding time. “The school work and show choir and dancing take up most of my time,” he said. “At my peak of working out I could bench around 180 pounds.”
Mumm runs track and cross country and uses dancing as strength and cross-training to stay strong and keep in shape. “Dancing is very physically demanding,” he said. “We have to be flexible and able to do the work again and again for hours until it’s right.”
Dancing may not be profoundly announced as the most masculine sport for males but it is just as physically and mentally demanding as any other sport. “I do dance because I like it and it’s fun,” Lagerblade said. “I probably won’t dance as a career because I’m good but I’m not L.A. good. When people say to me ‘Oh you’re gay for dancing’ I just shake my head because I’m the one with a bunch of girls while they’re in the locker room with a bunch of guys.”
Male dancers are an important part of dance culture and although Lagerblade does not plan on dancing as his career he is equally involved in show choir. “The hardest thing about juggling both(dance and show choir) is the remembering the different choreography,” Lagerblade said.
Dancing can be a lifestyle, a hobby or a way to stay fit but passion sets dancers aside, male or female. “Being a dancer is challenging and stressful, but definitely rewarding,” Lagerblade said.