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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Height: Tall dancers - which companies?

Guest fille'smom

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Believe me, mylildancer...we ALL worry about one thing or another when it comes to our dd's! (Whether we express it on this board or not) :thumbsup: Whether it is thier height, turn-out, extensions, feet, # of classes, it is always something. Especially when we have the type of daughters that we do. The driven, focussed, totally in love with ballet, dreams of becoming a professional dancer, but still insecure, unsure little girls that they are. We want nothing but the best for them and want them to achieve thier dreams. So, good moms that we are, we research, compare, hope and dream right along with them! That's our job! :blink:

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It is so difficult to wait, especially since in our area they stress tall dancers. However, having my daughter go away to areas like Boston, it makes me reallize she is marketable if she chooses. I think technique will determine her future, rather than height. At least I want to believe this.


It was mentioned above about ballet stunting growth. Well, I took my daughter to an endocrinologist last year and they really had a hard time diagnosing her future height. She said such factors which could affect my dd height were: Constitutional growth delay (genetic disorder that takes children longer to reach their max height), she hasn't started menstrating, her 20 hours a week at dance, and her bone scan which showed her bones to be matured at the age of a 12 year old. Ultimately, they said it remains to be seen. I have faith though.

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What I am wondering is if dance training itself may slow growth, as happens with gymnasts.

Actually, I never wondered about this until I came across my old middle school yearbooks when we recently moved. I noticed that in practically every group picture I was the tallest person, boy or girl. As I mentioned previously, I am now average height (5'7"). Dd seems to be about average height compared to schoolmates, but she is also one of the youngest in her class. BTW, I'm not obsessing about her height...it's just that I would have expected her to be taller by now, given that her dad is so tall. And in her younger years, she was also in the 95th percentile for height. So yes, I have wondered if maybe the dancing has affected her growth.

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Great article Mom1. I tend to agree. When my daughter was skating, a lot of emphasis was placed on height. She was told, after her 5"+ growth spurt at 10 yrs, that she was going to be too tall to be a skater. On average, most elite skaters are right at the 5' mark. Remember Nancy Kerrigan? Some called her huge and she was just under 5'7". It seems to me that the sports of gymnastics and ice skating draw the shorter statured athlete. That and the "weeding" out the coaches and trainers do when a child gets too tall. :blink: (at least in their opinions) Personally, I love to see tall graceful skaters. Where ballet is concerned, my daughters training has done nothing to slow her down! :thumbsup:

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I think tall dancers and skaters are so pretty, too. Of course, I am biased!


My 7 year old is 4'1'' and my 9 year old is 4'9''. I often wonder how tall they will grow. They are tall compared to the girls they dance with, but there are taller girls at school.


I think it is her long legs that cause my daughter trouble on the ice but also look so nice. In skating, a low centre of gravity is helpful. Long legs are not a problem in ballet, though! I think proportion is more important than height. And of course, there is talent, dedication, musicality, artistry, luck, training.....

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I am glad to see there are other small dancers out there. Now I'm not as anxious about my daughter's height.


Her pediatrician was concerned and sent us to a pediatric endocrinologist last spring. She also had a bone scan. At 14 and just barely over 5 feet she has the bone structure of an 11 1/2 year old. They estimated her height to be 5'3'' even though her dad is 6'1'' and mom is 5'4''


I guess we can't worry about the unknown.

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Guest Marc Haegeman

Sorry for the late reply, but here it is (and you guys will have to "translate" it, I'm afraid), but Daria Pavlenko is 1,70 m.

By comparison to several of her Mariinsky colleagues (Gumerova, Dumchenko, Lopatkina, Yosifidi) she's not very tall, alhough as some have pointed out, she looks tall on stage.

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Guest Watermill

An ABT corps member you might keep your eye on is Angela Snow. An exquistite dancer with that rare balance of deep musicality and near perfect technique, I believe she is over 6' on pointe. Trained here in Portland by Haydee Gutierrez when she was attending OBT School, we all hope and pray that she receives her deserved moment in the sun in spite of her height. I mention her because she has not "arrived" yet and her opportunities could be seen as a barometer of the limitations of that physical factor.

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Watermill, the lovely Angela danced the Third Passerby when ABT performed "Fancy Free" at the Kennedy Center's International Ballet Festival this past spring. Obviously, someone knows she's there and is interested! :thumbsup:


And don't you just love her name, with its double suggestion of purity? :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...
:wacko: Attended Ballet BC's (British Columbia) production of "Orpheus" last night. Prinicpal female lead, Emily Molnar, who danced the role of Persephone is a tall, long-legged beauty, at least 6' on pointe. She was stunning, dominated the stage with her majestic height and graceful powerful technique. I think she formerly danced with Frankfurt Ballet. Very exciting to see a strong, tall female in ballet!!
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I think it is safe to say that tall ballerinas exist in almost every company. Sometimes they spend a little longer in the back row than their shorter counterparts in the corps, however.


I would also like to add that the lovely and lithe Ms. Snow is indeed someone to watch out for, along with her counterpart at NYCB Teresa Reichlen whose name has popped up a bit on this board. She is perhaps next in the height line after Korowski over there.

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