Brother and sister fight gender stereotypes as boy, 7, performs ballet and girl, 5, plays rugby
Meet the adorable brother and sister fighting gender stereotypes before they’ve even hit double digits.
Freddie Young, seven, is a budding male ballet dancer while his little sister Maggie Young, five, has a passion for playing rugby.
‘Theatrical’ Freddie has had a love for music and dance for as long as his mum Faye Young can remember but it’s charging around a rugby pitch that really speaks to Maggie’s ‘competitive’ nature.
The siblings’ favourite hobbies may not adhere to what boys and girls are expected to like but mum Faye, 38, and dad Steve Young, 36, will be there cheering them on for every scrum and pirouette.
Landlady Faye, of Rugby, Warwickshire, said: “Freddie is quite theatrical and loves drama.
“He has always been one to get into the groove. He’s loved to dance and move to music ever since he was a baby.
“We’d go to rhythm, rhyme and baby classes at the library religiously because he loved them so much. And as he got older, he got really into the game Just Dance on the Xbox.
“When Maggie started doing ballet, Freddie asked me if he could do it too so I asked Maggie’s teacher if she had any spots free.
“At first Freddie was a bit dubious because he thought boys weren’t supposed to do ballet but I told him to just do what he wanted.
“I showed him the hashtag ‘boy ballet’ to show him that it doesn’t make him weak or a wuss or anything like that. Male ballet dancers are strong.
“In the end he just couldn’t resist any longer and he’s been going to classes for about a year now.
“He’s really flown with it. He’s doing so well. He’s quite incredible really.
“And Freddie has gained so much confidence since taking up ballet. He’s always twirling around the kitchen and showing me all his moves. He’s really come out of his shell.
“Ballet isn’t his dad’s thing because Steve is quite a blokey bloke but he comes to every show and exam recital. We are dead proud of him. He’s our little Fred Astaire.
“And then Maggie is just a different personality. She started scrum kids when she was about three. She wanted to do it because Freddie was doing it.
“She is doing really well. This is her first year in a team and she definitely prefers being in defence over attack.
“She doesn’t like to lose, she’s got a very competitive side. And she’s not afraid of getting muddy which is good.
“Recently Maggie has shown an interest in football too so we’re looking into that.
“She’s not a tomboy. She is a girly girl who loves her unicorns and barbies but she also loves rugby and nerf guns.
“We will always encourage that adventurous side in her. We’re so proud of them both.”
Despite the whole family having an affinity for rugby, Faye and plant electrician Steve have never discouraged their kids from having other interests.
Faye, who also works packing boxes for a cosmetic surgery company, believes no hobbies should be deemed gender specific and wants to celebrate her children’s diversity.
But the mum of two is aware that Freddie and Maggie’s activities might not always be met with such open-minded opinions.
Faye, who coaches rugby after a hernia stopped her from playing, said: “It has never been a questions for us whether Freddie and Maggie should or shouldn’t be doing their hobbies.
“Steve and I are always positive and supportive. If Freddie can do it Maggie can do it too and vice versa.
“We’re all very diverse. Steve plays rugby and I used to play it too until recently.
“I know not everyone feels the same and luckily neither Freddie or Maggie have had any negative comments from anyone yet.
“There’s another boy in Freddie’s year who does ballet so I think that helps.
“But I think as they get older Freddie will find it harder than Maggie and he might get some people who question why he does ballet.
“But we tell them both that if they ever get those comments to just tell people that it’s what they enjoy and shrug it off.
“They shouldn’t need to explain themselves or defend themselves. And there’s no need to make a big deal of it because it’s not a big deal. It needs to be normalised.”