If you ask someone to name a valuable commodity, they may say gold, or oil. Ask someone in ballet the same question, and there’s good chance they’ll say boys.
Most ballets have almost equal part male and female roles. But in the U.S., boys who want to do ballet are hard to come by.
For that reason boys often receive full scholarships to ballet schools and other forms of special treatment in order to attract them to the profession.
Former principal dancer with New York City Ballet Philip Neal was one of those boys.