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Kathryn Morgan

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I looked for Kathryn at SPAC this and last year and wondered why she didn't dance there two seasons in a row. Kathryn, the best of recoveries to you and I hope to see you dancing soon.

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I found this on the internet, in Kathryn's own words.

balletnews.co.uk/new-york-city-ballet-soloist-kathryn-morgan-from-t...

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I do too. As the young girl in Ives, Songs she was one of the most naturally lovely dancers that I've seen.

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Well, I've never seen her dance! I am a NYCB devotee who mostly sees the company at SPAC, although last two years I've subscribed to their annual season in NYC for 4-5 performances. But I never saw Kathryn dance live, only a clip or two. Yet I just know she's wonderful. And so I miss her and wish she'd come back to NYCB soon. I get what you say about her naturalness. Most important, I hope she's regained her health. ~ Karen

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Ballet Review has a short article on Kathryn and the progress of her health and career. She said she wouldn't be hired back at NYCB - what a shame! Still, she seems ok with it and displays her usual positive attitude. She's auditioning in Europe. I hope I can see her dance sometime. She is just lovely. Best wishes, Kathryn!

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Kathryn has been posting a lot of videos on twitter lately. She did some demonstrating in the latest on (on feet and pointe shoes). I am sad to report that while she seems quite upbeat she looks totally out of shape and maybe about 25 pounds overweight. I don't see her being able to resume dancing at this point. I truly wish her well and that she gets completely healthy again.

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My mother has the same disease as Morgan. The excess weight is a symptom of the disease. I'm sure she looks perfectly fine (and better than most of the population) in terms of her weight, but for a dancer or athlete, this symptom is a huge problem.

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Kathryn Morgan gave an interview to Kimberly Falker for the Balancing Pointe podcast series. The direct link to the interview is here:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/5/f/5/5f5fb978e202fd4c/Kathryn_Morgan.mp3?c_id=7400273&expiration=1405730489&hwt=c6af410d4f07b38731dfa956c3e2c545

She speaks about her training, schooling, summer programs, time at NYCB, her illness, her recovery, and her plans.

At the end of the podcast Falker says that photos and links to Morgan's social media will be on the Show Notes page of the Balanching Pointe website.

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She did say she's looking at Europe and would like to dance in classical rep.

Here's the link to the Show Notes page for Morgan's interview:

http://nblo.gs/YzFJe

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It was an interesting interview. I wish K. Morgan the best. I saw her perform a few times and it was clear to me she's a major talent. It interested me that she said she didn't see herself in the leotard, Balanchine ballets and felt she was a tutu/skirt girl. At the same time she wanted to be in NYCB. I guess there are a lot of Tutu/skirt roles in NYCB but no one does those exclusively. Also wanting to go to Europe because those companies do more classical rep is interesting. I'm not sure that's true, but I guess it depends on what company. In any event she is a talented woman and I wish her well.

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My mother has the same disease as Morgan. The excess weight is a symptom of the disease. I'm sure she looks perfectly fine (and better than most of the population) in terms of her weight, but for a dancer or athlete, this symptom is a huge problem.

What was not clear to me (maybe a little from the podcast) was why this was such a complicated disease. I, too, have an underactive thyroid (for 30 years) but have simply taken synthetic thyroid medicine (synthroid) and problem solved. I have always been underweight (although I know some people gain some weight) even before I was put on synthroid. My only symptom was the fatigue and feeling like I was sleepwalking.

I truly admire Morgan's determination and perseverance. But you should check out the workout videos she puts on twitter. It is no wonder she is meeting with resistance from ADs with the way she looks now. She should definitely not audition until she drops the weight and gets back into professional classes. To do otherwise be, I'm afraid, would be looking for rejection and masochistic. I do feel it would have been nicer if Peter had met with her instead dashing her hopes in an email. However, my business minded husband said that since Morgan broke her contract, Peter owed her nothing and Morgan should have realized Peter simply might not need her anymore. Anyway, life is going on for her and I truly wish her the very best.

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She didnt' say that Martins owed her anything: she said that Martins told her to contact her if she could return. Had he not said anything to encourage her to contact him, I don't think she would have had an issue with the email. In fact, she defends him twice, by saying that it wasn't he, but the board, who wanted her out, never to return.

The disease manifests itself in many ways. For many, it takes a long while to address. She was not one of the lucky ones who get the answer quickly.

I don't remember he saying that she was having trouble getting hired. It sounded like she has just come up with a plan for which companies to contact, after Martins sent his email.

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I'm not sure that Morgan can lose the weight and still be healthy. The weight gain and fatigue are symptoms of the disease. It's a chronic problem. It's also an issue of stamina. For any other occupation, one could just take the synthroid and go on living a perfectly normal life. However, in an occupation involving such extreme physical demands, business as usual just isn't possible.

She missed several years of performances at NYCB, and there is no proof whatsoever that she could (a) lose the weight and (b) keep up with a rigorous schedule required of members of the NYCB or a similar caliber company. It's not a matter of being angry that she broke her contract. It is likely that she just cannot do the job anymore. On the one hand, I admire her tenacity. However, on the other hand I thinkk she would have been wise to use the last few years to get an education and try to develop skills or connections for jobs in the event that she could no longer dance. She needs to be realistic.

As for being unlucky regarding the amount of time for diagnosis, I recall that Kathryn is adopted. Therefore she has no family history available in order to assist in diagnosing potential hereditary diseases. I think thyroid diseases tend to have hereditary elements.

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She may or may not ever be able to dance full-time again, but she said she was looking for a company with a less strenuous schedule -- like Weese, Korbes, and Orza did when they came to Seattle -- which she also said was something that Martins' "no" allowed her to consider mentally. Psychologically, it's not that unusual for people to have a fixed and focused goal when overcoming a life- or career-threatening illness or injury, and a return to NYCB maybe have been a single-minded way of getting through the worst. Being a college student with the kind of fatigue she was suffering is not a recipe for learning well.

She has been dancing locally, and that's a continued option if a full-time company does not take a risk on her. She has plenty of time for college and/or re-training.

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Most people in "regular" jobs (desk jobs) miss little or no work from this disease. They may feel more tired until the doctor finally figures out that it's underactive thyroid and prescribes the meds. Morgan's experience of losing years of her career is not the norm.

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What was not clear to me (maybe a little from the podcast) was why this was such a complicated disease. I, too, have an underactive thyroid (for 30 years) but have simply taken synthetic thyroid medicine (synthroid) and problem solved. I have always been underweight (although I know some people gain some weight) even before I was put on synthroid. My only symptom was the fatigue and feeling like I was sleepwalking.

I truly admire Morgan's determination and perseverance. But you should check out the workout videos she puts on twitter. It is no wonder she is meeting with resistance from ADs with the way she looks now. She should definitely not audition until she drops the weight and gets back into professional classes. To do otherwise be, I'm afraid, would be looking for rejection and masochistic. I do feel it would have been nicer if Peter had met with her instead dashing her hopes in an email. However, my business minded husband said that since Morgan broke her contract, Peter owed her nothing and Morgan should have realized Peter simply might not need her anymore. Anyway, life is going on for her and I truly wish her the very best.

In other interviews she has said it took over a year after being diagnosed for the doctors to find the right dosage. She also said she's already lost 20 pounds.

I think she looks pretty good in the videos other than her weight. We can't tell anything about her stamina because the clips are edited and so far she's only done barre. She's clearly too heavy for a dancer (she's not at "dancing weight") but the raw ability is clearly still there. Also, from what I've read/heard, Martins turned her down without seeing her, so it seems unlikely her current weight was the specific issue. Also, do we know if Morgan actually broke her contract? Don't they come up for renewal every year anyway?

I would love to see Morgan back at NYCB (assuming she was back in shape and had the appropriate stamina, etc.) But time doesn't stand still - the company has moved on; there is a new and different crop of up-and-coming dancers. It would have been nice if Martins had told her no in person, but why have her make the trip to NYC if she was just going to be told no? NYCB is not the exact same company as when she left and having to dance elsewhere may turn out to be a blessing is disguise.

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I think it is really a tricky disease, and a bit unusual in one so young. Usually with hypothyroidism, the adrenal glands are stressed as well, which contributes to the fatigue issues. She may need to explore what's causing these issues, to fully resolve the problems. Could be heredity or something else.

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I think it is really a tricky disease, and a bit unusual in one so young. Usually with hypothyroidism, the adrenal glands are stressed as well, which contributes to the fatigue issues. She may need to explore what's causing these issues, to fully resolve the problems. Could be heredity or something else.

Yes, this disease has a significant hereditary element. You may be aware that K. Morgan is adopted. She has spoken about it publicly. As a result, she may have been completely unaware of any family background regarding this disease or any other disease. Presumably, if she and her doctors had such information, they might have diagnosed her more quickly. Moreover, if it was known from the outset that there was a strong chance that she would get this disease at such a young age based on heredity, her parents might have tried to steer her away from professional ballet as a career. Very unfortunate circumstances. She seems like a very sweet young lady who has had to deal with some unfortunate problems.

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According to Dance Spirit magazine, Kathyrn Morgan will be performing in Cleveland and Detroit in the fall as part of the Ballet in the City Program

http://www.dancespirit.com/news/the-latest-from-our-friend-kathryn-morgan/

The Latest, from Our Friend Kathryn Morgan

Kathryn Morgan, former New York City Ballet soloist and advice-giver extraordinaire, is embarking on a new project. She’ll be performing in Cleveland and Detroit this fall as part of a Ballet in the City program. If you keep up with her YouTube videos (#obsessed), you know how excited she is to get back onstage.

Morgan will perform the Black Swan variation from Swan Lake, as well as Kitri’s variation from Act I of Don Quixote. She’ll also perform a version of The Red Shoes, conceptualized by Jessica Wallis, the executive director of Ballet in the City.From what it sounds like, according to her interview on the Ballet in the City blog, Morgan will also be talking about her journey back to health. Not only will the audience get to see her beautiful dancing, they’ll get to hear her honest and inspiring story too.Screen-shot-2015-07-22-at-3.27.34-PM.png

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Thanks for the link, pssfrb! I started clicking around Kathryn Morgan's main YouTube channel and learned that she'll also be portraying Galina Panova in the musical "To Dance" (based, apparently, on Valery Panov's autobiography of the same name), which will have its world premiere this August at the New York Fringe Festival. I'm glad she'll be performing again in NYC, even if it's just for a short run.

I watched a couple of her little "Technique Tips" videos, and I can see why she's got 29,000+ subscribers. I can't speak to her videos' pedagogical soundness, but Morgan herself comes across as very open, down-to-earth, and caring. It's clear that she's putting a lot of time, effort, and heart into her YouTube enterprise: in addition to her instructional videos, she's posted a ton of nicely-produced videos on topics that run the gamut from how to put on your makeup (stage and everyday), how to deal with jealousy, and (cluing me in to a subculture entirely new to me) how she sets up her Erin Condren Life Planner. If I were a tween bunhead, I would absolutely adore her.

ETA: Morgan recounts her struggles with thyroid disease here.

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