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knock knock, question for the guys


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First of all, immense gratitude to all of those guys who suffer through pas de deux. Whether we show it or not, girls appreciate any guy who partners. My question is concerns height. I am 5'1" so most of the guys i dance with are about 10-12 inches taller than me, which i am very comfortable with, but it makes for an odd match. saturday i start rehearsals for a pas de deux with a guy who i have never danced with before who is about 6'3" or 4, which is a bit taller than i am used to and i am probably much shorter than he is used to. when it comes to height difference, is there anything a girl can do to make it easier, or lessen the awkwardness sometimes caused by height difference?

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Feel free to stretch your spine up, lift out of your shoes and use your normal first and third positions. It will be important that you dance technically correct, the way that you usually do, so that you are solid on pointe. It will be up to him to adjust for the difference in your heights, and to make you look good. Mostly that will involve him working from a deeper lunge. Have fun!


PS Don't freak out when you go much higher than you are used to, just hold your position and everything will be beautiful!!

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Hi Elisabeth,


One observation about height that I want to point out.


My current partner is relatively tall, maybe 5-10; I noticed the other night that several of the shorter girls have the same length legs, but have shorter torsos and a smaller head. So, aside from overall height, an important measurement is the leg length to torso length ratio. Men tend to have longer torsos and larger heads in general. Since much partnering involves the man's hands at the woman's waist or flanks, the overall height difference might not be as critical as it would seem. Just my two bits. Don't know if it helps.



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I used to dance with a truly sweet little girl who was around 5 foot nothin', but she had become used to dancing with an extra-tall boy who not only towered over her, but in order to partner her, he had to "crane" over, and so she had become used to a very far-forward placement of her body and arms. It was quite a wrestling match there for awhile. I'm 5' 7".

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Thank you all for your input! ...the first time I danced with a guy who was a reasonable height match, i actually hit him in the face...

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Ah, yes, the joys of partnering. Getting hit in the face os not the worst thing that can happen, trust me. :nopity:

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Ah, yes, the joys of partnering. Getting hit in the face os not the worst thing that can happen, trust me. :speechless:



Oh, it hurts to even imagine... I've only been partnering for a few months

and so far I consider myself lucky -- I've been stepped on a few times, and

I'm learning to dodge flying arms and legs well enough. But I got kicked the other

night, when another couple was practicing shoulder lifts and I was spotting,

not dancing. Things started to go wrong, and she ended up kicking me in

the arm. I've got a lovely purple/yellow bruise to show for it, but she did NOT

hit the ground. (She kicked me, and THEN I helped catch her)...


Back to the topic at hand. I was thinking about your question, and at first

I was going to write the following: I enjoy partnering with women who are

much smaller than me, (I'm 6') because I like the feeling that I can lift them

and maneuver them more easily. But then I remembered a couple

of smaller dancers in class whom I suspect saw the difference in our

sizes, and then expected that I was going to do all the work, so they

didn't jump... That didn't last long... And to be fair I enjoy partnering with some

women who are taller, because it seems to be a little easier for me to pick up on

what they are about to do next (I'm not sure why). I suspect this is all just

me generalizing, too soon, with too little data, but I can state, categorically,

for the record, that pointe shoes do HURT when they hit you!


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It is much more difficult to partner someone who is taller than you, they are either wearing pointe or character shoes, so they are taller more so.


My last two partners were taller than me. I wore ballroom shoes with a latin heel (2 inches?) and it helped. Learning to move in heels like that took a day or two.


My Nutcracker "wife" is thirteen years old. She is very tall for her age.


I have been scratched, poked, slapped, kicked down "there", and had dancers fall on top of me after I fell. Partnering on stage should entitle you to stuntmen union membership.





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  • 1 month later...
Guest jla_ksu

I agree about partnering taller dancers.

I am 6 foot and some of the girls are almost that tall when on pointe. I find it easier to work with the shorter dancers. I am able to adjust my body and arms to be where they need me.


From my experience, although there is not a whole lot of it, the size of a dancer does not make much difference. What is important is to learn about her body. To partner I need to have an understanding of how she is going to move and what I need to do to accommodate her movements.


So, tall or short time working together is what it takes.


Good Luck,



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