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Guest justdanceit

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Guest justdanceit

I am a 15 yr old that is considering a career is musical theater/dance. I am doing every show and taking every class (so i am getting very good). However, being 5'5" i do not come close to the traditional male ballet dancer's height. My parents aren't tall either so I doubt i will grow much more (but praying for it). I know dancers like Baryshnikov have done it (but how could you begin to compare to him?) Is there a need for shorter male dancers in the professional ballet/dance world?

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Hi, justdanceit, and welcome to the Men's Forum here at Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


At 15, I really doubt that you've completely done growing, but you may have most of your final stature in place. 5'5" is not terribly short, and companies are hiring more and more dancers of "nontraditional appearances" (usually meaning quite short or quite tall), so you will have someone to dance with. (By the way, Baryshnikov is about 5'8") You're closing in on the time when you're going to have to decide which career track to follow. Musical theater is rather a different way from fulltime ballet. Consider carefully over the next months what track you are to follow.

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Height is just one of many factors artisitic directors take into account when hiring dancers. It all comes down to one companies preferences versus anothers. One company may look for tall dancers, another may be more interested in talent instead of height. Most companies are full of examples of people who didn't quite fit the mold so height is not always set in stone.


Mel's right. Music theater and ballet are two different worlds. Take the next few months or year and immerse yourself in ballet. If it's not a good fit for you, there's plenty of time to change to music theater.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Polo161



It took me a long time to get over my height predicament (I’m 5'6") I have learned that true talent will go far. I have short powerful legs and fast feet. I have a body that is made for ticks and quick fun steps. Audiences love that kind of stuff. I started dancing late in life around 19, it took me longer then normal to learn how my body works. You have a big advantage your young and have time to learn how to make your feet, legs, and arms as fast and as beautiful as you can. Don’t let your height limit you. Something I do to help keep my hopes up. I try to attend the Houston ballet performances just to see my favorite group of short talented dancers.

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There are not a lot of world ballet stars who are really tall. Ok, Roberto Bolle and Igor Zelensky are talll, but look at Mikhail Baryshnikov, Manuel Legris, Fernando Bujones. They are all quite "short" (even if the Website of Manuel Legris says that he is 178cm) but have good propotions, so they look not short on stage.


Well, a real problem is to find a proper and suiting partner.

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