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swanprincess

Ideal weight for dancers?!!

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Those Rambert videos were amazing LinMM thank you so much for sharing them!

I haven't really looked at Laban school but will do :) and yes my school offers A Level dance so I hopefully am doing it :) xxx

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On 03/03/2014 at 12:17, swanprincess said:

I'm sorry if this is a bit of a sensitive subject, and I'm also sorry if this post turns into a rant, but I am looking for some advice.....

As a few of you may know, I have been battling anorexia for about 4 years. Recently, I have been doing well, and as such, have been discharged from outpatient treatment. However, with the pressure of auditions, I have been struggling again. I am trying to find some information to reassure myself that I don't need to be emaciated to go to ballet school (from a young age, I was in awe of the Russian dancers, particularly those at the Vaganova, who all seem so desperately thin), so what BMI (or weight range- I am just under 158cm) should a ballet dancer have?? I just feel trapped in a vicious circle, of trying to eat 'normal' amounts to be healthy, which results in feeling fat, which results in cutting down my intake even more..... Will being underweight prevent me from getting in to dance school?

 

I just wanted to say congratulations!

also, having read your blog, you sound like you made a very  wise decision to eventually leave vocational school.

 

i went through something somewhat similar when I decided to leave my own dream of being an opera singer (was at university, but I knew the chances of making it are like playing in the premier league or Formula one, and I didn’t want to teach..)... so I left and went to medical school instead.

 

We all have our own natural gifts in life— for some people, especially in ballet, it’s a long neck, leanness, turnout, feet...  

But, like you— my greatest gifts are not my physique or coordination, but rather my mind.  I am naturally long and lean, and the normal population considers me to be skinny. But, order to meet the height weight requirements of ballet or modeling, I would have to become anorexic. (As I would have to go 20-25 pounds under my ‘natural’ comfortable weight.. which for my body would be seriously underweight and would be an almost impossible task when it comes to restricting and being preoccupied with maintaining such an artificial demand.) 

 

Meanwhile, you see vaganova girls turned prima ballerinas.. who seem to flourish with ease... even having several children (so clearly fertility was not impaired, despite being 5’6” and 101 pounds), and then returning to the stage, body as perfect as ever. 

 

Personally, I feel you can do much more with a gifted mind than anything. Not to mention the limited earning potential even for those dancers who “make it”.  You’re still too young and supported by your parents to have to deal with that yet, and so it hasn’t really hit home— but trust me, one day it will. 

Dance, or any art form, is a path of passion and a love— but if it is a career,  what you put in should be reflected in remuneration. Ballet is seriously broken in this respect.

Any other professional athlete, orchestra musician, etc. are all paid a comfortable living wage. 

 

 

Personally, I think the smartest dancer would be the one who becomes a physician. Particularly an orthopedic surgeon! One who specializes in dancers, as the demands on the body and injuries are so very particular and specific to ballet. 

 

Dance critic (Oxford would give you an almost free ride to the top), scholar and writer of books, management, teacher... all of those would let you indulge in your passion but pay you at least twice as much. 

 

You have so many options!! :)

 

 

ETA: the weight chart for the bolshoi is available by google search. It is quite eye opening, if you haven’t seen it.. amazes me that some body types are able to be so very very tiny, yet have the strength and energy to perform so brilliantly, and still be *healthy.* 

Edited by Stumbellina
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Hello Stumbellina and welcome to the forum.  I’m not sure if you realised but this thread is almost 5 years old so Swanprincess is now an adult and studying elsewhere.  :)  Thank you for posting though.

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I think she is well aware of that, as she’s acknowledged swanprincess’s more recent training/career developments in the first paragraph of her post.

Edited by RuthE
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5 minutes ago, RuthE said:

I think she is well aware of that, as she’s acknowledged swanprincess’s more recent training/career developments in the first paragraph of her post.

 

Indeed. 🙂 However, it was Stumbellina’s remark that Swanprincess is still “too young and supported by her parents” and suggestions of alternative careers that made me wonder how up-to-date she is.  

 

It is quite unusual to resurrect a 5 year old thread and sometimes people don’t realise how old the discussion is so they offer advice on a situation that is no longer relevant.  

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Hello Stumbellina and thank you for your lovely comment! 

 

Anna and Ruth are right, this is a very old thread- I’m now teaching ballet in London and am in the process of gaining a degree in ballet education. 

 

Although leaving vocational school after working so hard to get there was a very difficult decision, it was definitely the right decision for me, as i’m now much happier (and healthier, both in body and mind!) than I was when I was trying to succeed as a ballet dancer, a career that I simply wasn’t destined for. 

 

Thankyou again for your kind words :) 

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