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Little Girls in boxes????


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#1 Guest_Juls_*

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Posted 28 February 2000 - 07:03 PM

I remember a while back someone suggested a book like little girls in boxes or something ? Posted Image I know that's not it, if you remember please post it!!!

#2 Guest_Veronika_*

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Posted 28 February 2000 - 07:57 PM

The book you're talking about is Little Girls in Pretty Boxes, by Joan Ryan.
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#3 Guest_Veronika_*

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Posted 29 February 2000 - 02:34 PM

Just a question about this book..is it as controversial in the ballet world as it is in gymnastics?

#4 Guest_Rayna_*

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Posted 29 February 2000 - 04:21 PM

Yeah, I looked this book up at the library today. I thought it was about ballet, but it's about gymnasts and figure skaters instead!

#5 ScottieGDE13

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Posted 29 February 2000 - 06:32 PM

I'm reading that book now. I started reading it on Saturday and it really makes you think. It also makes you very thankful. I know its not about ballet but I still think its intteresting.

To answer someone's question about if its controversial... probably not as much as it is in figure skating and gymnastics. Some of the things they deal with, dancers don't have to. Like the book talks about how a gymnast goes through years of training for hundreds of thousands of dollars and rarely does it pay off because many don't make the Olympics.. and even the ones that do... well, the only 2 gymnasts that have been able to live off of their Olympic medals were Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci (sp?). But you don't have to worry about that w/ballet because it is an art, not a competition. Although eating disorders are a big deal in the dballet world... its not as accepted anymore like it still is in gymnastics because its not only a child's art. Gymnastics has gone from a sport for early twenty year olds and now its mid teens and many as small as a twelve year old. In ballet its ok to be a developed woman and you do not have to be toothpick thin because its not only for young teens but mainly for
young adults.

If you have any more questions- ask, cuz I am reading the book
Scottie

#6 Guest_ballerina14_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 08:44 AM

Hi Scottie! I think this book was written a long time ago and it was supposed to be about Bela (Mary Lou's) coach. He was from a Commumnist country and was very controlling (I'm not saying that all Romanians are, it's just a fact). Things have changed again and a LOT of gymnasts are competing in their 20's. They also have professionals who tour. Shannon Miller is coming out of retirement even! There are still a lot of coaches like that but not as many. My sister is a gymnast and she trains in the summer with a lot of (former) olympic gymnasts who are adults. And they eat healthy! She is on a college team and they won't let the kids compete if they don't have enough body fat. So maybe things are getting better!

[This message has been edited by ballerina14 (edited March 01, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by ballerina14 (edited March 01, 2000).]

#7 Guest_Veronika_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 10:51 AM

Some corrections:
-the book was written fairly recently
-Bela Karolyi is romanian
-the book is not *about* Bela, although he does figure prominently in it for (if you know anything at all about gymnastics) obvious reasons (he pretty much WAS US gymnastics for a long time)
-the book gives a pretty unrealistic view of the gymnastics world. many of the coaches/gymnasts/etc. who were interviewed by the author were very upset when the book was published because they felt that their words had been taken out of context and twisted, as well as stories that are stated in the book as absolute fact and are actually second- or third-hand accounts.
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#8 Guest_Rayna_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 12:28 PM

Don't you guys think Bela Karoly (sp?) is a great coach? I love gymnastics and I have seen his gymnasts, and they are great! I even got a chance 2 years ago to see the gymnasts perform in person! It was great. Bela was there, too! He is a great coach and person. I loved seeing him in person. Anyway, that's all I had to say since you guys were on the topic of gymnastics. Bela has alot of protoges!

#9 Guest_ballerina14_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 01:49 PM

Sorry about the country mix-up--I went back and fixed it. BUT--the truth is, this book was written about the years 1976-1992 and was first published in 1994. That was an entirely different time in gymnastics. And Bela may have turned out good gymnasts, but he also did some terrible things--Kerri Strug and Kim Zimeskal have talked about it often. I think that is what made so many people upset---everyone was so proud when we finally won a medal (and Kim won the world championship) but then they heard what price these kids had to pay. The gymnasts were kept at his ranch and not allowed to eat much at all--he also called them things like "fat cows" when they only weighed 85 pounds! There are a lot of stories like this that have been published and I think this book actually was a positive thing. It made people realize how bad this kind of training was for the girls. Also true in ballet! If you have a teacher who is always calling you fat, that's wrong!

#10 Guest_Veronika_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 02:39 PM

However, if you've ever read any complete interviews with either Strug or Zmeskal (or almost any of his gymnasts), they will say that overall, it was worth it and they'd do it all again. Gymnastics, like ballet, is a tough profession (most of the best elite gymnasts are paid by the US Gymnastics federation), and of course, if you want to be the best, it's not always going to be fun and easy going. By the way, I'm actually not a huge fan of Karolyi, but I do know that overall, the book exaggerates the size of some of the problems that exist in elite gymnastics.
Okay, I'm sorry this is completely off the topic of ballet now Posted Image

#11 Guest_RozeToze_*

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 05:49 PM

I don't know much about the problems with weight in gymnastics or in figure skating, but I do know that the world of ballet definately (whether inadvertently or intentionally) puts pressure for dancers to fit a certain "thin and willowy, yet strong and muscular" image. Many companys are aware that some dancers resort to starvation and purging as a weight-loss method and do nothing to stop it! I, myself, have been struggling with an eating disorder this year, and find it very hard to make myself believe that it isn't important how much I weigh, but rather that I'm healthy and always improving in my dancing. It's hard in ballet to not let the mirror become your worst enemy to the point that it's unbearable. I hate to see so many suffering girls, especially since I've been in their shoes.
Whitney

#12 BethJ

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Posted 01 March 2000 - 05:57 PM

Scottie,
unfortunately I am going to have to disagree with your statement about eating disorders no longer being acceptable in the dance world. in some ways it is almost worse than gymnastics because it is adults dancing and not children, as far as professional companies go. most dancers in companies do not have figures, as the normal woman would, there are no curves.

Eating disorders are extremely common for a large part because dancers spend an unnatural amount of time looking at themselves in the mirror each day. the time spent in class is spent studying your line and how your body looks. amy person would be selfconcious about their looks after that much examination.

Also, some companies and dance schools still have "weigh ins" for their dancers and those that do not meet their required weight are often put on probation.

beth

#13 ScottieGDE13

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Posted 02 March 2000 - 08:27 AM

BethJ-
I understand that. I'm not saying that eating disorders are nonexistent in dance but it has been my experiences that it is not as bad as it used to be perhaps? I mean there has been so much more info on eating disorders and much more steps taken to prevent them. I personally think that having an eating disorder would be a worse trial for you in gymnastics because your body is already doing things that are difficult and in a lot of cases extremely weird and the wear and tear eventually combines w/ the horrible eating habits and makes them so weak. I suppose the same thing happens with dancers because of the already active person is not nourishing themselves correctly. I would like to say that the only info I was really talking about was from the book so I guess I may have a biased opinion. But overall, I think dance is so much better for you than gymnastics... It's harder to make it as a gymnast and even when you do its such a hard time w/ too many struggles physically, emotionally, and mentally. Dance can be enjoyed for much longer because you're performing but not competing.
Any way- sorry if I confused anyone or had some wrong info
Scottie

#14 Guest_Allison74th_*

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Posted 02 March 2000 - 10:33 AM

First of all...i know someone who's a gymnast and she said that the book really really magnified the things that they went through. she said that isn't how it is for them at all. sure it's not easy, but what is??

AND...about the eating disorders thing...i think that in order to fall into habits like that (and i know from experience) there have to be other things wrong in your life than just wanting to achieve the perfect ballerina body. i guess that ballet places an added preasure on you to be thin, but eating disorders go beyond the desire to lose weight. they are just the surface ornamintation for a deeper problem. i guess...i think it would be interesting to find out if statistically there are more girls with eating disorders who are dancers/gymnasts/figure skaters/models than there are "normal" girls. maybe i'll try to look into it.

anyway...i think that's all Posted Image oh yeah, i wanted to say that dance is an art and gymnastics is a sport. people's reasons for persuing each are different. i could go on, but i won't right now.

#15 Guest_satinslipper134_*

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Posted 04 March 2000 - 12:57 AM

I've taken gymnastics, and it's not that bad! I never got up to the elite level, but I took it long enough to know that if you have a good coach, you have nothing to worry about. it is a very demanding sport, but it's not at all like that. I know people that have been anorexic, but never because of their coach. They think that they are fat. They make themselves think that. it's not the coach. I got up to level 6.....then I quit. I'm glad I did because I didn't really ever feel like making it a career, but it took so much time out of my day that I was beginning to have to do homework until about 3 am. Gymnastics is very demnding, but when a person has an eating disorder, they're mainly the ones forcing it upon themselves.


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