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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Facility: Body Type Diversity


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Also, please understand that "Blanchine body type" has vastly morphed (like what has happened in fashion and film) since Balanchine was alive and creating choreography for NYCB! Look at original photos of Mr. B and his dancers! Quite different from what the idea people have today!

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I tend to agree Lady Elle. Maybe it is more of a Peter Martins body type?

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I fretted for years about body type issues with regard to my daughter. Though she is fortunate enough to have a close-to Balanchine body type, she does not have the coveted S curve legs and feet, so I thought that she would be counted out before she even started. My fears, thankfully, have not materialized!


It may be true for the big 3 letter companies that having the "perfect" body type is essential, but the reality is that most employed ballet dancers do not dance for the big 3 letter companies but dance for regional ballet companies or for modern dance companies instead. Fortunately - and likely because I have been reading things like I just wrote on BT4D since my daughter was 8 years old! - my daughter never set her sights on a big company, but looked for a regional company with a good reputation in a nice city. She found just that and is currently a trainee. Having seen the other trainees as well as company members in the company she trains with I have been pleasantly surprised to see that they have hired dancers with a range of body types (and in this case, I'm not just talking about feet and extreme hyperextension). There are tall dancers, short dancers, curvy dancers, muscular dancers and dancers with Balanchine body types. I don't think this particular company is the exception either. DD has several friends who also just graduated from the same ballet school as she who are trainees or apprentices at other companies and they also have a range of body types amongst them.

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