1 Mom on Encouraging Her Son to Do Ballet: "We Need to Let Our Kids Shine and Break These Gender Barriers"

Mom of four, podcast host, and blogger Danielle Schaffer has always encouraged her kids to be their authentic selves. So when her 4-year-old son Brody — known as Boss Baby Brody on Instagram — started going viral for his impressive ballet videos, she did everything she could to encourage his passion.

In the recent past, boys doing ballet has been a hot-button topic due to to some disparaging remarks made by TV host Lara Spencer about Prince George taking dance classes in Aug. 2019. Ignoring the naysayers, Danielle and her husband have made it a point to unconditionally support Brody in his dance endeavors, and we could all take a page from their book.

"Brody has always been in tune with music, Danielle told POPSUGAR. "When he hears it, he would just start to move to the beat, and I would just watch in such awe. He sleeps to classical music and lullabies from around the world — I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it — but music just runs through his soul in a different way. His sister is his hero. She dances on a dance team and with him daily. She absolutely inspires him, and she's an incredible older sibling. Brody's brothers, who aren't into dance so much, always support him and love to cheer him on, and they actually spin him around."

As far as Danielle is concerned, her son with born with a passion — and a striking talent — for dance and the art of movement. "Brody is a born ballet dancer. He hasn't had any professional training yet, but he moves his feet like he's been dancing for years," she explained. "He's the epitome of the word 'natural.' I have been messaged by so many professional dancers telling me that what he can do is crazy. I honestly can't get him to stop. He dances all day through the night. Dancing brings him joy, and it truly brings the world joy."

Danielle, who sees no issue in letting her son dress up to do ballet, always wants to remind others that Brody is only 4 years old. He's allowed to explore his interests and hobbies, even if they're traditionally considered to be for girls.

"Brody is a child, and we as a family celebrate our children for who they are," said Danielle. "If Brody wants to dress in his sisters costumes, so be it. If he wants to wear Elsa and Anna costumes, we will gladly put them on him. He's a child, and as long as he's kind, that's all we care about."

"It's important for me to be the bridge that helps my kids get to where they want to be, instead of the roadmap dictating what they should do."

She continued, noting that parents should encourage their kids to be the best versions of themselves, whatever that might entail. "We as parents celebrate each of our children for who they authentically are," said Danielle. "I had some folks message me very hateful stuff about how Brody should be in boy clothes and playing with trucks, and then it dawned on me: What if Brody had a person like this as a mother? That would be awful."

"We need to let our kids shine and break these gender barriers," she said. "The minute we let them be who they are, we unlock their passion to truly shine and flourish. Brody is a wonderful child, and we support him. As far as my other children are concerned, they, too, support their sibling. Everyone is different, and we raise our children to celebrate each other's differences; it's what makes the world so beautiful. I just wish I could see more of this in the world."

Sum up Danielle's parenting philosophy, and it's pretty straightforward. "It's important for me to be the bridge that helps my kids get to where they want to be, instead of the roadmap dictating what they should do," she said. "I am that bridge and I want them to be happy. They can be anyone they want in this world, as long as they are kind and helping others along the way. They will actually live their best lives if they are happy with who they are. What more could you want for your child, right?"

Read through to get a look at some of Brody's stunning videos, and be sure to follow Danielle on Instagram to learn more about her family.