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December 12, 2010


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I wonder if it's possible to have a rational discussion about weight and ballerinas. So much to say, so many pitfalls.

I'll add but one comment. Although one must have low body fat to accomplish certain athletic feats (did you watch your football yesterday?), there's NO question that standards for ballerinas have gone crazy.

For example, and this is only one: Danilova in her prime weighed 115 pounds. At 5'5", a modern day Danilova would be told to lose 10 pounds and come back at the next audition, honey.

Hi Diana!!

Your mention of football reminds me of reading that at one point in his career, Emmit Smith - former running back for the Cowboys and Dancing With the Stars winner - had a body fat count of only 2%. That's almost dangerous since your body does require some fat in order for organs to function properly.

If you look at old pictures of Maria Tallchief, she was not waif-like. Nor was Melissa Hayden. Waif-ism has been a preference of some male critics and some male directors. It keeps the little ballerinas like little girls - harmless, obedient, and dependent on big daddy for praise.

It's the unfortunate state of dance criticism at the New York Times that the critics think that what they say is God's truth. They throw around words like best, worst, most, ever, least, first, only, never frequently and think that it defines them as definitive critics. LOL.

Jenifer Ringer is in no way overweight and is dancing beautifully.

Hi Haglund!!

Re: waifishness. And Mia Slavenksa and Gabriela Komleeva and a whole slew of dancers with great techniques were not waifs. They were slender but not skinny.

Re Emmitt Smith and 2% body fat....color me skeptical. He surely had a low body fat percentage but I can't see even a muscular back like him being THAT low.

I did read somewhere that Roy Jones, Jr. (boxer) went down to 4% - his normal body fat was 11%.

And guess what, after bragging that he'd gone down to 4% he lost the fight. He didn't need to lose all that weight.

Boxing, horse racing (the jockeys, obviously, not the horses), football and ballet all have weight manias now that are worse than ever.

If you look at pictures of many of the great old boxers, you are surprised at how unmuscular they are. Of course, they didn't have steroids.


PS Have you seen the board at the NY State, excuse me, Koch Theater? Nuts is almost all sold out. While I'm happy for NYCB I'm gnashing my teeth.

PPS Have you noticed that there is a slew of short running backs in the NFL? Darren Sproles (5'6"); Wes Welker (5'7") Danny Woodhead (listed at 5'9" but I don't believe it) and someone whose name I didn't catch last night playing for Minnesota who is 5'6". WOW! The NFL! Us shrimps rule!


A friend just sent me this link:


Anybody who calls Jenifer overweight is clearly out of his or her mind.


I'd say more but you run a family blog, here.

And let's not forget about Spud Webb who played for over a decade in the NBA even though he was only 5'7". He won the slam-dunk contest as well.

It only goes to show: if you're good enough, you'll get hired regardless of your physical type.

And Muggsy Bogues?

Back to ballerinas, the parameters are narrower than for sports because it's not dependent on objective results, but still....I'm gratified at the response to that asinine review. Anybody who calls Jenifer overweight has issues.

Another point, MacAulay whined about people didn't criticize him for taking a swipe at two danseurs' weight. If the obsession with weight and the eating disorders were as rife among them as they are among contemporary female dancers, then they would have. This guy seems to be completely unaware of context. I guess he must be pretty isolated in his bubble of privilege.

You nailed it, Diana.

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