I have spent my early childhood years smitten with the world of Ballet. In between schoolwork and dance classes I would listen to the classical pieces, read the books, which some of the great ballets were based on, and watch every documented performance I could find. Back then, no one took notice of the specific role women played in most of these stories. As far as I was concerned, I just wanted to dance.
As a classical ballet student, I knew that someday male dancers and teachers would play a significant role in my training. Luckily (or not, depends on your perspective), history played itself in such a way that I danced with female dancers and instructors until l was almost 14. The notion that Gender is an issue, both in the studio and in the world beyond it, came to me only towards my high school years. It would take some time before I attain the words and means to cope with this realization.