Traceuses on the Rise
Mon, 2011-10-03 08:11
As a general observation, I think everyone would agree Parkour is male dominated. During my time in Australia I found the male to female ratio was even bigger. Without the option of female only classes the large outdoor ones filled with young teenage boys can be daunting to some women. In class the guys are nothing but encouraging and generally treat you equally, unfortunately you only know this once your actually there training.
In Perth there was a small group of girls who regularly train in class and meet up for jams during the week, which was great to see and be part of. They train hard alongside the guys and welcome new challenges with enthusiasm. With Shi and I increasing the ratio we made for an approachable group and had women asking what we were doing. We explained what Parkour was and how they could get involved, It was nice to see their faces later on in class. I got chatting to one lady at the end of class who said she had seen people jumping around before but had not known what they were doing and although intrigued was too intimidated to ask. I don’t believe she is alone in feeling this way. For a lot of women who are naïve to Parkour, they may see it as a guy thing as this is who you will primarily see in you tube videos, advertisement, out training in public places etc. I know that when I first stumbled across Parkour I wasn’t sure if any girls trained, it wasn’t until a friend told me about the PKgen classes that I realised women practitioners are out there. I believe that as more women are seen to be training more will join.
I am not saying women should only train in mass together. On the contrary, I believe that training in mixed environments are very beneficial to both females and males and would encourage women to do so to help with their progression. I do however feel having the option of women’s classes provides an approachable, comfortable environment to take that first step. I am pleased to say that women’s classes were just being started up as I left Melbourne, we had a good turn out and as I understand are still going strong, which is great. Back in the Uk, the womens classes with Pkgen are still proving to be very popular and often welcome new faces. There is also an increasing number of video's and photos of traceuses posted on various websites, this will help to promote females in Parkour. We are on the rise.
So guys just remember to those who don’t already know your lovely, you can sometimes be intimidating without meaning to, continue to treat us ladies with respect and keep up the encouragement as you do. Ladies, its great to see so many of you training, keep it up and spread the word.