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Youngest corps dancer at Royal Danish Ballet? (or anywhere?)

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This is a question for our Danish members: Who is the youngest member of The Royal Danish Ballet? I've heard that it is Sarah Van Patten, the 15 year old America who joined in 2000 as a corps member. But in a company with 200 years of history, has there been a younger dancer? I believe there have been many US dancers as young - Gelsey Kirkland comes to mind. But who is the youngest? Who has a good memory out there?

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I don't think Baronova danced with the RDB :angel_not:

In Denmark, how far do you want to go back? Lucile Grahn was 15 when she created the role of Astrid in "Valdemar," and 16 when she created "La Sylphide" the next year. Betty Hennings was also 15 when she danced leading roles.

Today, Danish dancers become "aspirants" at the end of 10th grade (school leaving age); their contracts start August 1st of the following year. Many Danish dancers danced with the company, in the corps, or even in small solos or character parts (not counting bona fide children's roles, of course), at 14 or 15 (as they do in City Ballet, and probably other companies). It's a way of easing them in, and, sometimes, finding a substitute for an injured or ill dancer. Kistler was 16 when she made her debut in "Swan Lake" Act II. In ABT, Deirdre Carberry was 15 her first season, Nancy Raffa was 16 (Those two are from memory, but I'm fairly certain it's accurate).

The Danish dancer's career with which I'm most familiar, of course, is Henning Kronstam's, and he had a leading mime role in an opera at 13, began dancing regularly in the corps at 14, was the understudy for a couple of principal parts at 15, danced about a dozen small solo roles in demicaractere ballets at 14 and 15, and danced with the company regularly in the corps before officially becoming an aspirant. He was unusual, but I doubt he was unique.

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Thanks Alexandra and Mel!

If you wanted to get so young as to say the very very youngest, my recollection only goes to a 5-year-old who appeared as Little Baptiste in Hearts, Michael Smuin's version of Les Enfants du Paradis (with costume changes no less!). And I think that in about 2000 or so Boston Ballet used a child dancer of about 10 or 11 to do Cupid in Don Quixote, on pointe, but again she was not a regular company member though she had a solo part. This of course doesn't include whatever newborn may have been carried on stage in someone's arms just so that years later that person might be able to brag that they really were born in a trunk, not to mention stories I heard from members of Ruth Page's company about dancing with a pregnant Melissa Hayden before her first child was born. :tiphat:

Sorry, habit. I know silly season is over.

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