Ballet is not just a dance style; its a lifestyle, a culture, and like many cultures, has its own myths and rumours around it. They are passed down from generation to generation, from a teacher to a teacher, choreographer to choreographer, student to student and from mouth to mouth, each time acquiring new details. Seeing a thin ballerina on stage makes you involuntarily think about what kind of diet that artists had from childhood so that at 35, she looks the same as at 16. Of course, the question of maintaining ideal physical shape is eternal for ballet dancers. Why should a ballerina be so slim? And should she?
In a professional ballet school, almost every girl goes through harsh criticism of her figure, if it defers from the standards of the ballet world. Where did these standards come from?
Let's recall what ballerinas of the early 20th century looked like and how much has changed in ballet since then.
Allot has changed in ballet since then. Yes, an ideal figure without extra pounds is not just to create clean, long and beautiful lines. It is not only to create an impression of lightness on stage. There is another crucial reason why a ballerina should be as slim as possible.
Ballerinas work in a duet with a partner who must lift them with a support of outstretched arms. Of course, the dancer lifts weights at the GYM and pumps his arms separately in his free time, but let's not forget that during the performance, he himself dances pretty difficult variations, during which he gets exhausted. But he must lift the ballerina no matter what, and under any circumstances. It helps allot if she is light!
Thus, excess weight for a ballerina makes her almost unqualified. It becomes challenging to find a partner who can lift her. It's easier to avoid such a situation altogether. This is why girls are in ballet schools, focusing on maintaining an ideal figure. A perfect ballet body will make it easier in adulthood to find a job in the theatre!