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chlrcl

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:)My daughter is a wonderful dancer with strong classical training and ballet is her life. I am wondering about semi or professional opportunities because she is 14 and only 5'1. Would appreciate any realistic comments.

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Guest Giannina

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, chircl; we're glad to have you with us. You must be very proud of your dancing daughter. We have forums for parents of dance students. If you post your questions there you will get a larger "viewing audience" as this forum is just for introductions. There are other forums that may be of interest to you. Investigate the board and enjoy!

 

Giannina

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Sorry for the above mess up! ( I didn't mean to post that )

 

I too have a petite dancer. Until recently, I thought she would never have the chanec for a professional career. Recently, however, I've been reading about an apparent increase in shorter male dancers such as Herman Corneijo at ABT (who is awesome.) I think the audiences expect the ballerina to be shorter than her partner. This can mean that the companies need some short girls to partner with the short male dancers. Remember that pointe shoes add several inches.

 

The shorter girls don't fit in the corps too well.

 

I think outstanding short dancers do have a future in dance provided their bodies are proportional.

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  • Administrators

Since we are getting some answers here, I'm going to just move this topic to the Parents forum where everyone will see it and there will be more information available for the new member, chlrc. :)

 

No problem, Winifred, I just deleted the post with only the quote. :blushing:

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chlrcl, it's true that if a dancer is really good enough, there is a good chance for work. But also you said she is only 14, so isn't there also a good chance that she will grow a bit more? :)

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I hope she will grow more, although I am only 5'3. She is very well proportioned, fortunately. I keep seeing dancers (17-18 y/o) at a studio who are excellent and also happen to be quite tall. I have seen very tall dancers on stage who look horse-like, however. My daughter has such a passion for ballet it's hard to describe (!) so I am hoping the best for her, as we all do. I just hope that she will add an inch or two more. She has had 2 periods already in the last year, although I know many girls continue to grow after menarche. Thanks for the comment about pointe shoes; indeed the added height for her is very lovely.

 

This is wonderful to receive input from everyone. I am delighted I found this website.

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I don't think you have to worry. My daughter was always very short, and at 14, only around 4'11". I am 5'4", my other daughters the same as I am. Here is a picture of her back then (scroll down to 6th picture below the menu bar, the one with guest teacher Cyril Atanasof). She is the shortest dancer in the group (of course). All but 3 of her friends in the picture are younger than she is, if you can believe it!

Summer 2000

 

Now, at just turned 20, she is probably at her maximum height, exactly 5'2". Here are two photos of her taken earlier this year (scroll down to third entry below menu bar), in her dressing room and in dress rehearsal. She joined the Estonian National Ballet at age 17 (when she was still "only" 5'1½").

Järvi

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Wow! Very nice pictures Marga and Congratulation to your daughter! :)

My DD was also only 4'11" when she started serious training at 13. She worried that she would not be any taller than me (I'm only 5'2"). She is now 16 and 5'5", much to our surprise.

We recently helped out a fellow student and looked up some audition information for him since he did not have a computer and was busy with Nutcracker. Both my daughter and I were surprised that there were actually companies that had height limits on their females of 5'6" and 5'7". It is true that more shorter men are being hired in companies. Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of them. :innocent:

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Wow!  Very nice pictures Marga and Congratulation to your daughter!  :wink:

My DD was also only 4'11" when she started serious training at 13.  She worried that she would not be any taller than me (I'm only 5'2").  She is now 16 and 5'5", much to our surprise. 

We recently helped out a fellow student and looked up some audition information for him since he did not have a computer and was busy with Nutcracker.  Both my daughter and I were surprised that there were actually companies that had height limits on their females of 5'6" and 5'7".  It is true that more shorter men are being hired in companies.  Pacific Northwest Ballet is one of them.  :)

 

 

Thanks for your input. I am glad to hear about this. Any more comments from parents of "shorter" ballerinas are most welcome! My daughter has such good technique and ballet is by far the most important thing in her life and she has a lot of motivation and ambition. I don't want her to be deterred by seeing some soooooo tall dancers at some studios.

 

Also, how do you folks find out the heights of some people in companies?

 

Thanks. :innocent:

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Also, how do you folks find out the heights of some people in companies?

By being immersed in the ballet world for a decade or more and thereby seeing company members in person (at SIs; when they guest with your daughter's ballet school; when your daughter takes open classes in New York City and other major cities and shares a barre with them, etc.), reading reviews and bios which describe them, seeing photos where they are standing next to someone whose height you know (and you take into account the type of footwear they are wearing!). Heights are often mentioned in interviews, and one of the discount dance catalogs which features dancers as models lists height as part of the info on each dancer.

 

You will also find that after you spend years gaining such specific knowledge, you will also come to the realization that height is not as important as you formerly thought. Unless a dancer is under five feet or over 5'9", she will, without much difficulty, find a company that is the right fit for her, provided that she is an excellent, or better still, exciting, dancer.

 

Thanks, mylildancer, for the congratulations!

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I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post here since I am certainly not a parent, so mods delete if necessary.

 

Boston Ballet is one company I know of that has many short principal dancers. I got the priviledge of watching Larissa Ponomarenko in class (a real perk of Boston SDP!), and she is only about 5 feet tall, but she is certainly a beautiful and well-proportioned dancer. Pollyanna Ribeiro, who recently retired from her position as a principal in Boston Ballet, is also very petite, she might be less than 5 feet.

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