Matt Rescigno is convinced that as a 16-year-old longtime dance student, he can do moves that a captain of a high-school football team can't. Rescigno studies hip-hop and break-dance at the Broadway Dance Academy in Massapequa, and this fall he'll help launch the academy's first Bdwy Breakerz team, a boys-only break-dance /hip-hop competition group.
"You stay in great shape," Rescigno says of taking dance class. Rescigno's classes are all boys and have male instructors. "Being with guys, it makes you compete. It makes me do better. It pushes me more."
While not all dance studios offer classes specifically for boys, boys are mixed into all sorts of co-ed dance classes. They can take tap, ballet, jazz and anything else along with the girls.
But many boys seem interested in hip-hop, says Erin Lopez, owner of Variations dance studio in Huntington. Variations doesn't offer classes split by gender, but still its hip-hop class last year had nine boys and two girls, Lopez says.
"It's off the charts the boys we get in hip-hop," she says. "It's more street dance, it's more masculine, it's cool."
Here are some dance studios on Long Island offering classes just for boys:
BREAK DANCE/ HIP HOP
WHEN|WHERE 6 p.m. Wednesdays for beginner-intermediate ages 6 and older, 7 p.m. for intermediate-advanced
Boys have become more interested in dance because of pop-culture TV shows and movies such as "America's Best Dance Crew," "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Step Up 3," says Victor Alicea, who goes by the stage name Kid Glyde. Alicea, 29, of Oceanside, teaches dance at the Broadway Dance Academy and will lead the new boys' competition team.
ALL-BOY HIP-HOP AND BREAK DANCE
WHEN|WHERE Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. for ages 4 to 6; 5:15 p.m. for ages 7 to 10; possible Tuesday or Thursday class
COST $14 a class
The boys do warm-ups, across-the-floor routines and dances choreographed to songs they like, such as "Moves Like Jagger," says owner Valerie Quaresimo. Dancing with a male instructor and other boys gives them a sense of confidence and camaraderie, she says. "Boys sometimes get a little intimidated by the girls, or a little put off because they don't want to be seen as ballerinas," Quaresimo says. The boys' classes will also put the dance moves into language boys relate to -- calling steps the "Spider-Man step" or the "Iron Man move." "We camouflage some of the stuff a little bit," she says. "They think they're fighting, but they're dancing."
HIP-HOP AND BEGINNING BREAK DANCING FOR BOYS
WHEN|WHERE Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., beginning Sept. 25
COST $775 for 31 sessions
This class is for grades 2 through 6 and is taught by a former professional football player with the Italian Football League who also has danced on Broadway and with the Metropolitan Opera, says Georgia Vahue, director of the center's school for the arts. "It's one of our most popular classes," she says. "Boys can go in and just be boys. They can leave the inhibitions at the door."
ALL-BOY CLASSES IN BREAK DANCE, HIP-HOP, STREET TAP AND MORE
WHEN|WHERE Thursday and Friday afternoon and evening classes
COST $44 a month per class
Create Dance offers all-boys classes Thursdays and Fridays for ages 3 and older. Boys can choose from break dance, hip-hop, street tap, a mix of tap and break dance or acrobatics. About 50 boys take classes at the studio, says Shanna Sciara, office manager.
WHEN|WHERE 3:30 p.m. Fridays
Huntington Center for the Performing Arts, 310 New York Ave., Huntington
COST $60 a month for 10 months
This is a movement class for ages 5 to 9 that includes ballet fundamentals, improvisation, conditioning and flexibility training. "Because it's all boys, perhaps it can go in a different direction," said director Joan Albright. "Male dancers need more strength, they jump higher, they do more physical movement. Later on in life, they're lifting women."