By TONY WHITE
YOUNG Grafton males are turning to dance in ever increasing numbers.
The trend is showing up not only at local dance studios but at schools where dance has been introduced in recent years as an alternative sport.
Grafton Public School principal Helen Martin Duryea said up to 30 young boys had enrolled in dance groups.
"A lot of them are signing up for dance groups," she said.
"We try and offer a wide variety of sports with opportunities for competitive and lifestyle enjoyment.
"A lot of the boys are keener now to have a go at dance. Our numbers are always filled."
Accredited local dance instructor, Gail McBay of Studio 1 Dance Academy, currently has 12 young males enrolled at the Studio.
"The Saturday classes have swelled to 10 boys ranging in age from four to 14-year-olds," she said. "That's the most we've ever had. Dance is considered an alternative sport and guys have found out they can do it and enjoy it.
"Dancing is a great workout. It's great for reflexes, co-ordination and stamina. It's a full workout and also involves a lot of strength and flexibility work.
"And most importantly, it's fun."
For the first time four young males ? Tim Riddell, Matthew Crawford, Joel Clare and Nicholas Maguire ? will appear together in a Studio 1 dance troupe at this week's Grafton Eisteddfod.
Matthew's mother Anne Maree Crawford said: "There's been a change in thinking.
"It's a bit of a misconception in society to consider dance is just for girls. Boys have just as much fun. Matt loves it.
"The stereotype is changing."