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Far from Broadway, boys-only ballet classes are on the rise

Gian Paul Lozza for TIME

From left: Stuart Deininger, Raj Caparros and Alfred Murdock III during a boys ballet class at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School

Twice a week at a public middle school in a working-class, largely African-American neighborhood in Pikesville, Md., a group of boys ages 7 to 10 line up to run, one by one, diagonally across a vast floor and then leap--with whatever goofy movement they choose--over a plastic container in the middle of the room. Their instructor, Tim Fox, a burly guy who used to be a professional dancer, doesn't tell the boys that what they are practicing is called a jet. He just tells them to have fun and burn off some energy. As for formal ballet training, he says, "I...

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