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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Male Dancer Body Type

Guest marcos_83

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Guest marcos_83

I would like to know what is the appropiate body type of a male dancer (specially ballet). I am still in the process of training at the Ballet Concierto's Conservatory in Puerto Rico. I want to begin an excercise program that includes weights(???, please forgive my spelling, English is not my first language); and I am concern of the overdevelopment of the muscles. So, how much is too much of excercise, weighs, etc? :confused: ;and what do you suggest me.

Also, where can I find information about loosening body fat and effective abdominal workout? Thanks for everything, I hope you can help me in some way.

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Hi, Marcos, and welcome to the Men's Forum at Ballet Talk here on Ballet Alert! Online.


I should know something more about you before I can begin to answer this question in a satisfactory manner. For example: how old are you, and what has your training in ballet been so far? A boy shouldn't really be doing weight training before about 14, although it will do no harm if started at 12, it just won't do a lot of good. Any initial work with weights must be supervised by a teacher, in order to reduce the chances of injury.


As to the "how-much-should-I-weigh" end of the question, I don't even think men can sensibly discuss this topic without it getting out of control, and a lot of bad information passed on as if it were fact. Take a look back in Young Dancers' FAQ archive and YD Body Issues archive for some examples of these threads on weight. I won't close this, but we just won't discuss weight or diet, OK?


There's also another archive called YD Stretches and Exercises that will give you some good ideas of good muscle-lengthening stretches. Check it out!

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Guest marcos_83

Thanks for replying. Here is the information you wanted to know so you can help in a better way.

I am 17 years old. I began my ballet training last year in August at age 16. First in Beginners now I am in the Intermediate Level. I take 4 classes a week and Jazz on Saturdays. Before that, I used to dance jazz, folklore and latin dances (salsa, mambo, merengue, etc.)...and still dance it.

There was a misunderstood in my question (because of my still-improving English). I din't want to knew about how much should I weigh, I wanted to know about Hou much weight can I do in an excersice program.

Thanks again for everything.



[ 05-20-2001: Message edited by: Marcos ]


[ 05-20-2001: Message edited by: Marcos ]

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Guest Mohabee

Hi Marcos!


Go lightly on the weight training. Since dancers need flexibility rather than bulk, weight training needs to be considered with caution.


Like the others who already responded, I agree that teens do not really need weight training. Flexibility, endurance and movement exercises are really needed at this age.


Another possiblity (I don't know if this is available where you live)would be Pilates training. With Pilates, you get resistance exercises without adding bulk.


I suggest finding a weight teacher who knows dance, or can talk to your dance teacher about what dancers require, and more specifically, what you need.


My own weight training involved using light weights (one or two weights less than what I "strained" to). More reps than weight is desirable, in other words, add five reps to each exercise, with less weight.


Check out back issues of Dance Magazine, and Men's Fitness as well. There are some exercises described in these magazines, that will enhance the flexibility, without adding to your muscle mass.


Best wishes!


Mohabee Mohabee@Earthlink.net

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Thanks, Mohabee, a pretty good and thoughtful list of things to do and to look for in incorporating weights into your exercise program. But I must say that using weights is a lot better than doing push-ups for warmup before pas de deux ;)!

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Well, for one thing, pushups are great exercise if you are going to punch your partner, instead of the other way round (which is the usual way of things when that happens onstage), for another thing, if you do the pushups in handstands, it tends to scuff the walls of the studio, and third, the weights are easier to control. ;)


[ 05-20-2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Guest Andrew



You've just gotten some great advice! I asked a similar question a while back and the advice I got helped tremendously. If you're going to work with weights, get a very light set-say no more than 5 lbs. and do lots of reps! Hand-stand push ups help too if you can manage them (I try but I need a spotter and that isn't always practical). The long lean look is nice for ballet so don't worry too much, ok?


Welcome to Ballet Alert!

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Guest Andrew

I also forgot to add-you mentioned wanting to lose body fat. Consider walking or swimming laps! I personally like walking since it can be done basically anywhere. Take care!

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You mentioned handstands vs push ups to prep for pas de deux work. How would you rate swimming in terms of preparing for pas de deux? Would you still recommend exercises in addition to swimming? I'm doing 1 1/2 miles a few times a week right now (Marcos -- an excellent way to trim body fat). I don't plan to start pas classes for awhile, though the women are giving me lots of grief for delaying. Too much else on my plate right now.


You also mentioned inverted push ups once before. Could you describe these further?


This has noting to do with the question at hand, but: someone from New York (Leigh perhaps?) mentioned a restaurant full of Barbie dolls he'd been to. I'm going to be in NYC next week. This place sounded kind of odd and fun. Anyone know the name of the place?



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Guest OperaEquestrn

I'm just starting--beginner in every sense of the word! My first class is in a month, but the ballet master where I'll be as well as every dancer I know said that the fact that I do PILATES will make my venture into the ballet world much more accessible.


If it's possible, I would highly recommend some classes or private sessions in the Pilates method. There are videos, too. Although the "live" approach is certainly better, you may find a video worthwhile--especially if there are no Pilates instructors or classes nearby.



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For 2 Left Feet:


The restaurant is called 222 and is located at 222 W. 79th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.


We all *really* like it--they have an assortment of ballerina stuff (wreaths to snow-globes, etc.) and is not only beautiful to the eye, but to the palate as well.

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Ed, inverted pushups are just pushups done in a handstand, and your level of "other exercise" sounds about right.

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