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Too Tall?


w445403
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I've never thought about it before until my mum commented that she wished grandson would stop growing as he would be too tall to carry on dancing. I dismissed it but can't help a little nagging doubt!!

Having turned 15 last Saturday he's 5ft 10ins and growing, takes size 12/13 shoes, his Dad is 6ft 1in.

As if there isn't enough to stress over without worrying about something we can do nothing about - Aggghhhhh

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Obviously I am not speaking as a "dancing parent" but it seems to me that the dancers in, for example, German and American companies are taller on the whole than we are used to seeing on stage here (although there are a growing number of taller dancers with BRB).

 

Some years ago, a dancer from Northern Ballet moved to San Francisco Ballet.  He had been the tallest by a couple of inches in NB, but was just average height within SFB!

 

I am sure others will be able to chip in!

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Don't worry, my husband is 6.4 and my non dancing son is 6.3 and 19 yrs old. When my DS joined WL we asked if his height would be an issue and we were told that the most successful seniors that year who graduated with the most company offers were both 6.4. I recently met a gorgeous young man who was leaving RBS upper school before graduation to take up a place in The Danish Ballet, he was 6.4.

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Things are a bit different from our mothers' days.  Back then dancers had to be smallish - 5ft 6 nearly the cut-off point for women dancers.   Now, a lot of ballet company (or even musical theatre type of dancing) want taller women, so taller men are needed.

 

If you need any proof, look no further than Roberto Bolle - he is 6ft 2inches. He is great at jumps and turns, and intreicate footworks!

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I hope they will encourage tall male dancers as I have an aspiring dancing daughter who is worried about being too tall so the taller the males the better I say! I saw ballet company roles advertised on dance europe recently and they seem to specify minimum heights not maximums (if specify at all).

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My (professional) son is 6'1" and he thinks he's too short to get work in Germany (don't know if that's entirely true, but that's his perception).  However, he's a bit tall for work in the UK (again, not entirely true!) - but anyway - the upshot of this is that height for boys isn't too much of an issue!  And as you say, you can't do anything about it :)  Personally I like to see tall men dancing with the ladies as I think the "balance" looks better in pdd.

 

(Although my friend with a son who is 5'6" says she thinks he'll have trouble getting work, and my son also said "Ooo, yes that is quite small" when I spoke to him about it)

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My ds son is now 5" 7 and just turned 13! His father is 5" 8 and his older brother is 6" 0!! I'm 5" 3, so I've no idea what's going on. I scoffed when his vocational school predicted his eventual height will be 6" 4, maybe they are right!!

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The late Patrick Bissell, Principal Dancer, ABT was over 6' - and that was in the 1980's.  I had the great good fortune of meeting him and watching him teach a men's class.

 

And a gorgeous dancer he was!  

 

Nickolai Tsiskaridze, former Principal Dancer, Bolshoi, is quite tall.   

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We knew from looking at audition notices and from other people that height would be an issue so it was not an unexpected statement. He is currently enjoying and focused on his final year. He is also fairly open minded about the future so not overly concerned by the closing of the classical ballet door :) Hopefully other dance opportunities will come up.

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Thank you for your kind words, and indeed some of the girls in the company are well matched being quite petite.

 

He does actually carry himself tall if you know what I mean and people are often surprised that he is in reality not as tall as he looks!

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To all the parents of smaller ds's out there who are reading this and thinking "oh no"! please have heart! I have just finished reading about the hottest current talent of the ballet world, Ivan Vasiliev, dubbed "sex on legs" He is current principal dancer and in huge demand. So, being 5 ' 8" has certainly not harmed his career. When asked if he thumps his associates when they refer to his height he says "no, I just do what they cannot do, jump higher and pirouette faster and better"

 

Big or small, where there's a will, there's a way!

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I think that's what Wayne Sleep said ......he just decided to jump higher and be able to do more and faster pirouettes in order to survive. He is an extreme case at only 5ft 2ins but was continually told he wouldn't make it!!

 

He was amazing as Puck in the dream and as the boy in Month in the Country......I still think he is one of the best in this role!!

 

It's harder to be he danseur noble if you are not so tall but I would say any male at least over 5ft 7 ins could do this.

 

I guess if you are the other way say over 6ft 2ins then you would have to concentrate more on real elegance of line and beautiful turns and adage work and so on.....but as girls are getting taller there should be a need for taller men I think.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Have a look at the Australian Ballet, they have quite a few males over 6ft. Adam Bull, principal, is 6ft 5in. Tell him not to listen to people, such an old fashioned perception. My dd at 5ft 91/2 needs him!! If we had listened to people saying that when she started dancing she would have missed out on so much joy... and tears. 

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