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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Average height ranges of major US companies

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My daughter years ago auditioned for a cattle call and was told in front of all by AD that he loved her but she was too short for the company! Disappointing but at least she knew it wasn't her dancing.

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I have been following a dancer on Youtube who was graduated from Bolshoi. She is about 5 feet, competed at Prix De Lausanne and is still dancing professionally however at a rather small company. Leads me thinking as a small dancer, it is not entirely impossible to have a professional career but it definitely won't be easy - even when you graduated from a prestigious school

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Well yes.  Masha. .. an amazing talent. . . .truly one of the best in the world. 

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Masha, is world renowned and has danced with San Francisco Ballet as well as ABT she has now basically moved on to dancing when and where she wants!  She was not just at a small company.  She is truly a Prima!

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  • 6 months later...
ballonne mama

Ahh, this is always an interesting discussion. We've found generally that our taller dancers get more interest from the European companies and the shorter dancers more interest from the US companies. I find 5'5-5'6"" to be the female sweet spot... tall enough to be "short" at a tall company and short enough to be "taller" at a short company. A soloist career can be made being the Clara, Canary Fairy, Cupid in a company just as there will always been a need for the tall roles: Myrta, Liliac Fairy...  basically, a classical company needs a variety of dancer heights to provide the right visual aesthetics for the classical ballets. Also, it's important to accept,  the males will often dictate what size range that the acceptable females will be. It is harder to find good male dancers, there are just more females available at every height.

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My guess would be 3-4 inches taller than the average height for ladies.

However...these are things that we have no control over and having some arbitrary number in your head serves no purpose, other than to trigger stress perhaps! This is something that I have spent much time stressing over through the years because my dancer is quite tall. I did research 'taller' companies to learn where she would have better luck but the truth is that ADs change and the vision changes, so what was once know as a tall company could suddenly become a short company.

One thing that I have learned from many years of parenting a dancer is that ballet is fluid and there is very little that we can do to change that, the only power the young dancer has is to train hard and train smart!

PS...my son (not a dancer) grew 2 inches post high school.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/11/2020 at 7:57 AM, Noodles said:

Having some arbitrary number in your head serves no purpose, other than to trigger stress...


Who knew?(!)

Edited by StormTrouper
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  • 3 months later...

More recent additions to NYCB include Mira Nadin (5’10”) and Lauren Collett (5’10”). They seem to have two groupings — the tall and the short, and have a middle group that they can use with both groups. My daughter knows a number of the NYCB women including Mira and Lauren. 

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