Career Development Plan - Weight? Height?

by Paris Sinclair
(Pleasanton California USA)

Career Development Plan - Weight? Height?

Hello Odette!
I recently started ballet about 1 year ago. I breezed through all the levels and I am doing a pre-pointe class in the summer. I am also doing a summer intensive, which I am really looking forwards to! I would really like to become professional but I don't think i have the "ballerina body" I am 5'7.5 and i weigh 128. My bmi is about 19.75, so i'm at a healthy weight. I'm not fat, i just weigh more because i'm VERY muscular. I don't think any male partner will be able to lift me! Another problem is that i'm only taking 2 hours a week. My studio is about 15 mins away, so my mom can't drive me everyday. I also swim, and my mom really thinks i should keep it up, but i don't want to because i want to focus on ballet. How should i convince her to let me take more lessons? My dream ballet company is NYCB because they produce amazing dancers, and they let tall dancers in which i'm definitely in that category... Thank you and respond soon!!


Reply by Odette
To:- Career Development Plan - Weight? Height?

Hello Paris,
Thank you for contacting me it is a pleasure to hear from you. It is great to hear your passion for ballet. I will help you all I can to pursuing your dreams.

Firstly, age plays an important part in the career development of a dancer. Depending on how old you are, it will make a difference to how long you have left to train in dance and whether there is still time to sculpt that ballerina body.

You are a tall dancer yet always remember muscle is good for dancers, as you have to be very strong and fit in your body. Lauren Cuthbertson, Principal with The Royal Ballet says "My body is my tool. In ballet, it's not about being slim and slender; you need to aim for muscle. “. This is true as the physical demands for ballet are much similar to an athlete, you have to be physically in top shape.

For dancers it is about finding the balance between muscle and length in you physique. Dancers are muscular yet they manage to still create lean and classical lines in their dancing. The ballerina body is a lot to do with your training as a dancer. Consistent ballet classes and intense lessons will work all the correct muscles to sculpt the body of a dancer.

It is crucial for young dancers to commit to training as much as possible. I understand this is difficult for you, but without letting ballet take over your whole life, you will eventually need to increase your classes to build the strength for a professional. Especially by the ages 16 and above, it is reaching nearer to the time when you need to have stability and strength for a professional level.

Swimming is actually very beneficial for you to keep up as a dancer. It is important to be aerobically fit and a high stamina, so swimming is favored by many ballet dancers to keep in top shape. However, swimming can build different muscles if you over do it, so without letting it take over your ballet it will be very useful for your physical fitness.

NYCB is a fantastic dream. Every aspiring dancer needs a goal to aim towards. Watch the dancers, learn about them and read about the company.... educate yourself in dance! You should also look into NYCB school. The ideal place to train and study in ballet if NYCB is your dream company.

Best wishes,

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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