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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Weigh in - at ballet school! Need advice!

ma de deux

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Pithy! Perfect answer Hans!!!!! :dry::shhh:

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  • 1 month later...

To Ma De Duex,


The "weigh-in" policy is indicative of an overall poor environment brewing at that studio. As hard as it is to pull yourself away from a place where your DDs have grown, their long-term self confidence and happiness is far more important and I hope that you can remember this first. There are loads of doable options in your area (WSB, MYB, even given the commute, are doable). I encourage you to see the writing on the wall as we did and walk away. It takes alot of soul searching and courage (after what seems like years of devotion and loyalty), but once you take the step you will know you have done the right thing. Please update us on the outcome!

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Tiny Dancer

This discussion brings to mind the two instances I have had as a young adult in two environments re: weigh in's.


I was in flight attendant training school for a major airline many years ago. As part of the training we were required to weigh in. Because of a good union, we were protected from this practice once hired as it IS discriminatory. Well, due to this practice, half of the class began taking water pills. My roomate began another well known practice known in the ballet world., self inflicted. This, in my opinion, came directly as a result of the weigh in pressure.


In the second senario I was a professional NFL cheerleader. Only several dancers were requested to weigh in. It was awful for those dancers!


Because those situations happened so many years ago, I thought that most people now realize how harmful the weigh in process can be for young girls and young adults.


Can this really STILL be happening???

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kariboo, welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! Thanks for contributing to this thread. If you'd like, head on over to the Welcome forum to introduce yourself to everyone. We look forward to hearing more from you.

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I am skimming this topic for the first time and just have to say something here...it may sound painfully obvious, but I caution you that it is not.


Clearly weigh-ins are ridiculous. I think it goes without saying that there are also plenty of other forms of intimidation, competition, control...whatever premise it falls under. Parents, please, please be aware of the impact teachers can have on our impressionable young minds. If your children are anything like mine (and I'm guessing you wouldn't be on this forum if it weren't the case), they are overachievers and perfectionists. Ballet is unfortunately beyond competitive. Combine these two things and you have the prime breeding ground for disaster.


I have a dear friend whose daughter used to dance with one of mine. The daughter developed anorexia at age 17 and do you know what the pivotal moment was at the beginning of her downward slide? The AD told her when she was at her rock bottom, hospital admittable weight that "at least she finally looked like a ballerina". I have witnessed the effect this illness has had on the entire family, and have to stress that this teen was the LAST person you would ever have expected this to happen to--extremely high academically, beautiful dancer, high self-worth, outgoing.


My point here is just the awareness issue--I too thought while reading this topic that I would immediately pull my child from a studio that has weigh-ins--but let's not forget that we need to be on watch for more subtle deliveries of the same message. Sorry for the emotion--this is a raw topic in our house.

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I had to go back and read your post again, lovemydancers, it was heartbreaking. It saddens me that some of these ADs out there really don't know what they are doing to some of these young dancers who are so impressionable, and always trying to please. I wish the people in charge would learn to think twice, and look and who they are dealing with at that moment. They are not working with professional dancers, but young growing girls and boys, who often are just learning to feel comfortable in their changing bodies. It is very sad.

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Sorry--I didn't mean to bring people down. Watching my friend and her family deal with this situation has made me realize that it is so important that we don't get so caught up in the rush that we let the really important things slip by. I have read a lot of posts on this board that remind me of what is really important--it is good to hear these things from other parents. :D

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You didn't bring me down, it is reality, and it is better to be aware of it. I appreciate your honesty, and by sharing it, you may help someone.

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lovemydancers, I also want to thank you for your post. Everything you said is paramount - including your final statement.

My point here is just the awareness issue--I too thought while reading this topic that I would immediately pull my child from a studio that has weigh-ins--but let's not forget that we need to be on watch for more subtle deliveries of the same message.
An important topic.
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My DD was considering training at a school which offered excellent classical balelt instruciton. she took classes ther one summer, which she thoroughly enjoyed. no scales were in sight. however , over a two-month period happened to run into several dance-moms in the city [not at the studio] who each had a DD who used to train at the above studio. both gals quit ballet as a direct result of attending this school. Why? weigh-ins! one girl became demoralised and quit because she was scolded for her flcutuating [by 2 lbs!] weight. the other had to stop dancing because she developed anorexia. during their year-round program, weigh-ins were the norm, but the AD refrained from this during summers, when they attract new DK's to start up with them for Fall. the scale was used with all pre-teen and teen dancers- and their regional affiliated pro company memebrs. My DD asked several of the girls her age that summer if this was so; they admitted it was. They said they stayed to train since they have been there since early childhood & the geography's perfect for them. Also, they're cast in soem lovely ballets, and dont want to leave longtime friends there. My DD and i talked, and agreed this wasnt a healthy place for her. at a recent ballet master class, we met one teen from that studio and a female pro from their company. we hadn't seen them in over 6 months. both were thin-unhealthfully so-and many pounds lighter than before. the young adult was gaunt. they admitted to my gal--in front of me-that the weigh-ins continue. we didnt go there and , now, never shall. in our city, people know that the AD there has a scale and uses it-yet has pros and students galore. it's up to us to educate our kids to stay away from unhealthy places-even if they seem enticing. it just isnt worth it-and can lead to much heartache and poor health.

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