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  • Question: Is there a certain height you have to be to become a dancer? Like atleast 5'2 and above or something like that? Is Height an issue? - le-moncola
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    The typical “ballerina body” is certainly something that many dancers find themselves pressured to have, and this includes height. For some dance companies there are height requirements, as they maintain the ideal that all dancers in the corps should look as close to identical as possible. The general heights for female ballet dancers range anywhere from 5’3” to 5’8”, but this can vary from place to place. The reasoning behind this is partnering, as once the girl is on pointe she becomes much taller, and thus the male partner must be tall enough to still work well with her. Height however is becoming less of an issue in the ballet world today as there are now a good number of both extremely tiny, and very tall principle dancers.

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  • Question: I'm 14, I did like 3 lessons of ballet and my teacher told me that I already can buy my pointe shoes!!! I'm so excited, any tips? - cheerleading-spain
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    Hi there! Firstly congratulations, getting your first pair of pointe shoes is always very exciting. With this excitement though make sure that you don’t get too carried away. Although you are older, the fact that you have not been doing ballet for very long could make pointe work more difficult. Make sure that you get a pair of pointe shoes that properly fit you. This can really make all the difference, especially when you’re just starting out. It’s ideal if you could have your teacher there for the shoe fitting because they will know what will work best with your feet. You can also take a look through some of our recent posts about pointe work for some strengthening exercises to gain stability through your ankles. :)

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  • Question: Hi! By the way i love the blog. I wanted to ask if it's a bad idea to pratice pointe at home even doe i'm still a begginer. And can you give me some tips of how to do it? (sorry for my english) - Anonymous
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    It is never a bad idea to practice at home when it comes to ballet! If you’re a beginner in pointe work then simple exercises - like what you would do in class at the barre -  would probably help the most. Find someplace where you can stand and do slow rises, and just get more comfortable with standing on your block. What might help even more though would be strengthening and stretching exercises for your feet and ankles. In this article, (link below) there are some exercises that will help to prepare your feet even more. Do a few of these every day before class, or at night before bed and you will definitely see improvement. Hope this helps! :)
     http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/April-2012/PrePointe-Conditioning-Exercises

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  • Question: I'm 16, almost 17 and want to start ballet. I'm totally set on it, and still have to talk to my parents BUT my only fear is, is being made fun of when I start in a beginner class with all the little kids. I've always been a fast learner and have done other dance classes before but how long do you think it will take for me to move up? - classicalmind
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    To be completely honest, there is not a set time on how long it will take someone to move up levels in ballet technique. Everyone is different, and there are some people who progress very rapidly, and there are some who don’t. This usually depends on certain factors such as natural talent, physicality and musicality. Physicality is very important. Not just in terms of body shape, but simply how you are genetically. For example, some very lucky people have natural 180 degree turn out from their hips, and this makes pretty much everything in ballet a lot easier. Another factor is natural flexibility which can also be very helpful. There are people who start at 16-17 years old who are far better than any of us will ever be, even though we started when we were very young, and its due to the fact that their bodies are far more suited to the demands of classical dance. 

    Don’t worry about being made fun of. Dance for the fun of it, and if it makes you happy, it shouldn’t matter what others think! As long as you work your hardest, we’re sure you will do fine. :)

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  • Question: I have such a hard time keeping my ribbons tucked in and the back on my pointe shoes from falling off my heel. any tips for keeping ribbons in and keeping the back of pointe shoes falling off? - lovethepointe
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    Hi there, we know what you’re talking about and luckily have a few suggestions! For your ribbons staying tucked in, you should first make sure that they’re cut short enough. If you have a lot of extra ribbon after you tie them, cut some of it off so there is less to be tucked in. For performances you can also try sewing your ribbons tucked in. As for your heels staying in place, we as a class try to always have a spray bottle on hand filled with water. If you spray some on your heel and tights at the back of your shoe it will help them stick together. This also works with hairspray, but it can get a little sticky! Also you can play a little with the placement of your elastics. Placing them near the very back of the shoe generally works best. Depending on what your teacher allows you could also try sewing your elastics to the outside of your pointe shoes. Although it may look a little bit funny some dancers find that this really helps them. We’ll leave two links below to demonstrate how to sew your ribbons tucked in, and how to sew elastics onto the outside of your shoes. :)

    Ribbons : http://www.ehow.com/video_6197976_keep-pointe-shoe-ribbons-tucked.html

    Elastics (skip to around 1:56) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3EcAcjXBv0 

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  • Question: hi. i'm just curious, you said that a teacher you knew went to vaganova after ONE year of training? :O that's amazing! i'd love to meet them or know their name. are they male or female? where did they dance? they inspire me so much! - nights-spent-dancing
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    Yes, there is a teacher at our school who attended Vaganova after his first year of training. He is incredible, and pretty intimidating in class because of the fact that he accomplished so much in so little time. We don’t want to say too much, because we want the name of our school to remain confidential, but you probably can narrow it down. He truly is an inspiration and everyone at the school is in awe of him. Sorry we couldn’t say more! 

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  • Question: Is it impossible to become a professional ballet dancer without going to a pre professional school such as the royal ballet? - Anonymous
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    Nothing is impossible! There are many dancers who did not attend professional schools who have made it into ballet companies. Just make sure to work really hard and apply every correction your teachers give you! 

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  • Question: How tall are you and how much do you weigh? Is it possible for shorter girls like me to ever make it professionally in the dance world? - Anonymous
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    Because there are many of us running the blog, we all have varying heights and weights. Although we do not think it is important for our weights to be floating around on the internet and think that is something we’d like to keep private, we have no problem sharing out heights. Most people in our class are around 5’5” but the height range is from 5’1” to 5’7”. I am the shortest girl in the class, being 5’1”, and I do struggle with my height because I know it will be harder for me to get into professional companies. Teachers tell me that constantly, but I’ve learned to ignore it and focus on the things that I can work on and change, rather than something that is out of my control. Nothing is impossible, but I know I will have to work much harder than other girls who are taller than me to make it in the dance world. Just work your hardest, and remember that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything! Just look at shorter dancers like Maria Kochetkova and Alina Cojocaru! :)

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  • Question: I am going to begin class this fall seasons at a new ballet school. It is very prestigous and I am very nervous. My old one wasn't as strict about everything. Now I need to get new pointe shoes and Leos. I don't know what kind of leos to get. what Kind do you wear. - closers-coffee
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    Hi there! At our school we have a uniform leotard that we must wear during all of our classes. These are made by our school’s wardrobe and costume designers and therefore cannot be found for sale elsewhere. When we are allowed to wear non uniform bodysuits there are a few brands we really like! Elevé, Yumiko, Wear Moi, Bloch, and Gaynor Minden are just a few to throw out there. Many of them have websites have size charts from which you can order, and a few have some pretty great options for personalizing with patterns and design! Best of luck at your new school! :)

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  • Question: hi im age 12 and only grade 1-2 in ballet but i have seen some Repertoire Classes from the birmingham royal ballet for swan lake. i wood really like to go but on the website it says the age 8-10 for grades 2-3. i wouldn't mind being with little kid but im not sure what is expected of me. Should i go for it or wait until i have more experience??? thank you so much - Anonymous
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    When you’re auditioning at a young age schools are looking primarily for natural ability, physique, and potential. What this means is, don’t hold back from auditions because you think your level of ballet is behind. If you have the opportunity, go to as many auditions as you can to see what the level of the classes are like. As you get older auditions will focus more and more on technique and ability. You should never hold back from auditioning because you’re afraid you’re not good or experienced enough! :)

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  • Question: hi, i was wondering, what kind of pointe shoes would be the best for me if i don't have high arches, not strong yet not weak ankles? i want to get stronger and my teacher who i trust completely told me that my shoes (gaynor mindens 'supple') were to hard and that i should either try grishko 2007 or freed. but they don't sell grishko in my country and the last time i tried freed (around 3 years ago) i never seemed to get all the way to pointe? - retire--devant
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    Hi there! Generally listening to your teacher is best when it comes to things like this. Over the internet it is really difficult for us to recommend certain shoes because we haven’t seen you dance in person! What we can do however is tell you what shoes we wear. In our school it ranges mostly between Suffolk, Principal, Bloch, Russian Pointe, Freed, and Fuzi. Sorry this is not a definite answer, but maybe you could look further into these brands and see what you have available to you! :)

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  • Question: I just found out that my dance teacher is pregnant, I'm not at all professional, I'm worried (as selfish as this may sound) about how it's going to affect my dancing next year, she is the only teacher and she is going to hire another teacher to help out until she can fully teach again. Next year, she is helping me with my year 11 VCE dance (VCE, an Australian, Victorian thing haha) and she said she is still fine to do that. I'm worried that it won't be as straight foward as I had hoped? - Anonymous
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    It’s always hard dealing with different teachers but try not to get too concerned. Sometimes having new teachers brings in new perspectives and corrections, which although might be frustrating at first will help you become a better all around dancer. If you do find however that you really aren’t having a good time with your new teacher try and focus on what another teacher has told you before. Because ballet is mostly self-motivated, keep correcting yourself and working the way you would have with your preferred teacher. As for your syllabus/exam just try and take as much advice from both teachers as you can! More knowledge can never hurt you. :)

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