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I am interested in knowing about what types of bodies different ballet companies prefer. I know some companies are rigid on the type of bodies they like. So, I was hoping that you could provide me with information on preference of height, legs, arms, and other body characteristics different ballet companies prefer. I am espescially interested in learning what body types Pacific Northwest Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet prefer.


I admit, I don't have a perfect ballet body complete with log legs, willowy arms, and an overall thin, fragile-looking body. What I have is a strong passion for ballet and a powerful determination to become a professional ballerina. Also, I'm thinking of attending Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet's high school training program, but first, I want to make sure they accept my body type. Thanks ahead of time for sharing your knowledge with me, I really appreciate it.

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Hi, Montana, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers. :)


First, we have to make a distinction here. A company-affiliated school like Pacific Northwest Ballet is a rather different animal from a free-standing school like Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. CPYB includes a performing "studio company" as part of its educational program, certainly a correct thing to do - after all, this is a PERFORMING art, and one will only get bored with a classroom-alone education. You have to show off what you know in a performance atmosphere. PNB feeds an actual professional company, and while CPYB dancers have gone on to find jobs, they are affiliated with no one professional company, at least directly.


That having been said, sight unseen, I have to recommend CPYB if a question of body type is the sole criterion for choosing where to study. They take everybody! Now, whether you go anywhere after admission, that's a crapshoot no matter what school you attend.


And to make a list of body types of the different companies is just a fool's errand. They change, sometimes with a change in directors, sometimes just with the director changing his/her mind!

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