Do You Have to Have The “Right” Physique to Become A Professional Ballet Dancer?

Thank you for the question, Clara.

TRUTH: Nobody has everything. Nobody has the perfect body to be a ballet dancer because ballet wasn’t designed for our bodies. Ballet asks for turned out legs 100% of the time but we are built to walk with our legs parallel. Degrees of turn out will vary, people’s insteps will be different, some people are naturally flexible.. some really have to work for it. So what is the right physique? No one really has the right physique.

BUT when I hear you ask about having the “right” physicality, I’m assuming that you picture in your head a dancer with perfect 180 degree turn out, a naturally thin body, high arched feet, flexibility above their head, an easy turn and a flying jump. Those are qualities that ballerinas have become known for over the years creating the definition of a “right” physique.

Photo: Jan Christensen

Do you have to have all of those qualities to be a professional ballet dancer? No. Do you need to have some of those qualities… well.. honestly… it helps. But, those qualities are the cherries on top. They aren’t absolutely necessary in order to become a professional. The average audience member doesn’t know anything about the ideal foot or line. They go in to the theater to escape reality and to dream.

Meaning, it is your movement quality that is the most important thing. If you can touch people, if you can make things look effortless… if you can transpire people away from their reality, then no one is going to be asking if you have the “right” physique. They will just be asking, when do you perform again!?

Photo: Jacob Jonas

I get that there are some ideals in the ballet world that we will all forever strive to have. Everyday in ballet class that is what we are working towards. You and me. Try and put your concentration on the larger picture, the love of dance and spreading the love of dance. That is what will take you the furthest to becoming a professional ballet dancer.

xoxo
-Hol

Comments

    1. Post
      Author

Leave a Reply