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Height of Typical Female and Male DancersNYCB and ABT


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18 replies to this topic

#16 chauffeur

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 01:35 PM

I'm quite thin and 5'8". Prior to becoming part of the ballet world, courtesy of my daughter, I found that people usually thought I was shorter than I am. Something about being slightly built made me shorter, too. In the ballet world, though, I am often "told" by people there that I'm a good 2 inches taller than I am. Go figure.

#17 merlin

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:53 PM

I am from years gone by. I am new here but I don't know if I can interject something here as the last post seems so old. In 1973 there were real height discrimination issues at the San Francisco Ballet Company for women. The company had just changed hands and if I remember correctly. It was Michael Smuin from NYCB who took over as artistic director. At my audition he asked me my height which was close to 5 foot 2 inches and I lied and said I was 5 foot 3 inches, because I knew they were looking for taller dancers. He told me they did not hire any female dancers for the corps that were under 5 foot 4 inches. He said for costuming reasons. I am glad to hear there is less discrimination, at least it sounds that way. But as you are discussing this topic are you only speaking in terms of principal dancers or does this include those dancing in the corps too?

#18 shedances

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:26 AM

What is the tallest height for female corps members at ABT at present? Does anyone know? What about male dancers?

#19 pherank

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

I am from years gone by. I am new here but I don't know if I can interject something here as the last post seems so old. In 1973 there were real height discrimination issues at the San Francisco Ballet Company for women. The company had just changed hands and if I remember correctly. It was Michael Smuin from NYCB who took over as artistic director. At my audition he asked me my height which was close to 5 foot 2 inches and I lied and said I was 5 foot 3 inches, because I knew they were looking for taller dancers. He told me they did not hire any female dancers for the corps that were under 5 foot 4 inches. He said for costuming reasons. I am glad to hear there is less discrimination, at least it sounds that way. But as you are discussing this topic are you only speaking in terms of principal dancers or does this include those dancing in the corps too?


Fortunately that is not the case under Helgi Tommasson. He specifically asked choreographer Christopher Wheeldon to keep his eye out for a small dancer, and Wheeldon 'discovered' Maria Kochetkova at the Royal Ballet, and she was snatched away. ;) Yuan Yuan Tan and the other principal women are certainly not very tall - though they claim she's 5'10" on pointe!


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