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  • a lot of dancers have normal feet, they've been pretty good to me.

  • Hi, my name is scout for a safe and I'm a professional ballet dancer with american ballet theater and today I'm going to be debunking misconceptions about ballerinas when people find out I'm a professional ballet dancer, They always have some weird stuff to say.

  • So I'm going to be answering some of the most common assumptions and misconceptions about ballerinas.

  • Today I threw it out there on Instagram for people to write in what they thought.

  • I got over 185 responses so I broke them down into categories, Diet, lifestyle, body, personality, career point shoes and dance.

  • This is definitely the biggest section and the most common question I get all ballerinas are teeny tiny skinny people who don't eat, they never eat anything like ballet dancers eat nothing slash starve themselves eating disorders, Body dysmorphia.

  • You're working out from 10 to 7 with an hour break and you're eating a lot of food because you need fuel for that, but you're working your body so hard that naturally you just become lean.

  • Yes, there is a skinny culture and ballet, there is a stigma and reward system for being and looking a certain way.

  • I think that needs to change.

  • I personally would rather see a woman out there dancing than somebody who looks like they're about to lose their last breath on stage eating disorders.

  • Body dysmorphia.

  • I think it's something that dancers struggle with, I can say I've struggled with looking at myself in the mirror and just being like, you don't like that.

  • but our generation is becoming so much more knowledgeable about health, we're understanding that the starving yourself and then trying to get a full performance out, like that's just not possible for a human to do that.

  • Okay, so these are the more like realistic assumptions, I would say, dancers take good care of themselves and live a healthy lifestyle.

  • They're all super healthy eaters and vegans and perfectionists.

  • The perfectionist thing is probably true.

  • Not everybody is a vegan, they eat a lot of protein you eat to aid your digestion and mood.

  • I think one of the biggest things that people don't understand about dancers is like, we are so in tune with our bodies, you're eating a bunch of salts and you feel swollen the next day, alcohol wise, I really don't like to drink a lot of alcohol, especially don't do it during the week, alcohol, super dehydrating to the body, so I'm not going to be drinking while I've got a full 23 hour show that night, multiple ones of like, they're vegan, they're vegan, they're vegan personal story.

  • I went vegan for five years and I was really struggling with my hormones at that point, I started skipping periods and that is kind of scary because that affects your bone health.

  • So I started re introducing me to my diet, you know, monthly, like when I was menstruating, I crave red meat and I'm gonna give myself that like, here's an example of like a day I wake up in the morning, love, love, love my coffee and then avocado toast, fried egg on top.

  • And then I always have like a banana or apple or something to snack on.

  • I'm sipping coconut water throughout the whole day.

  • Lunch is usually some kind of salad or soup and then going home to dinner of like roasted veggies and like a big kale salad and then maybe occasionally like a piece of steak or salmon or just some tofu.

  • Like I'm down kind of for whatever.

  • Yeah, just trying to eat clean.

  • And then there's definitely like potato chips somewhere thrown in there and like maybe a piece of chocolate or like a pint of ice cream.

  • So here's something I got a lot.

  • Their entire life is ballet and no private life as possible, no social life.

  • I assume that ballerinas don't have time for much outside of training.

  • There's a little bit of truth in that, but a normal rehearsal chunk, which would be like usually a week to Maybe six weeks were working Tuesday through Saturday, and then, you know, multiple times out of the year we're performing until late in the evening, but that's very seasonal, it's not all the time.

  • So, you know, yeah, you're hustling for two months, three months out of the year.

  • But other than that, like you're able to just finish your day and go have a dinner with friends or go get a massage or on the weekends, like run out to the beach.

  • The next one is ballet is the most important thing in your life.

  • Like black swan serious?

  • Not just passion.

  • No the thing I can't stress enough is black swan is someone's imagination in a movie.

  • It is not real.

  • There's a lot of stuff in that movie that I'm just uh yeah it's funny in the beginning of the movie of black swan when they're waiting for casting and he comes around and taps all the girls in class.

  • Like that just would not happen.

  • You know what's going to happen for the season ahead Like there's preparation that goes into it, it's not just like oh you get it, you get it like the casting goes up, you see it, you walk by, you might have already been in rehearsal for it.

  • So that seems a little funky to me towards the end of the movie where Natalie apartment character, she is late for rehearsal and the Milligan's character is dancing and rehearsing and her hair is down like you know you wouldn't be rehearsing swan like with your hair down and out of a but like that's just silly to me and then also in the end to when she jumps off onto the mattress which it wouldn't be a mattress, it would be like full stationary foam, like good stuff to fall into.

  • Not just like an old mattress bed bugs, like new york and she's like, I was perfect.

  • It's a live performance and that's something that's so beautiful about ballet and so enticing.

  • I think for dancers is that there's never perfection.

  • Like you can always constantly build on its never ending.

  • Yes.

  • Ballet is extremely important to me, but it's not life consuming where I identify only with ballet and if somebody gets a role that I wanted, I'm not going to be pushing them down the stairs, backstabbing like the sabotage stuff that just doesn't happen.

  • I've heard stories from the older ones, but I think there's a really cool vibe happening with our generation of dancers.

  • We understand that life is life and ballet is that life?

  • So continuing on the body section, this is my favorite.

  • Your feet bleed bruised feet.

  • They've been pretty good to me.

  • I've had like two blisters my entire life.

  • I have calluses for sure.

  • I have a corn in one of my pinky toes, dancers do work their butts off, but isn't really that big of a deal to have calluses now.

  • It's so badass that our bodies literally make callouses to protect themselves and to like build up like basically a coat of armor.

  • Like I think it's such like a badge to have these like super, you know, like these feet can handle stuff I can walk across rocks and not even bat an eyelash like my feet are strong.

  • A lot of dancers have normal feet definitely for sure have calluses blisters corns.

  • But for the most part, like we have such good technology of like toe padding space, there's all that stuff and are so much more aware of like self care when it comes to feet that I think this is kind of an old school way of thinking.

  • Here's another one.

  • They have constant injuries.

  • The dancer injury rate is 100% dancers get injured.

  • It's a part of the job.

  • I've been a professional now for six years and I've only had one injury that really just took me out for a good solid like four months, 14 month injury in a span of six years.

  • Like the odds are pretty good at that point.

  • You avoid injuries by working smart, really working on that technique and getting that strength and doing things properly and having somebody help.

  • You just ask for help.

  • So, hey, I need a coach right now, I need somebody to look at this.

  • There's a weird feeling here.

  • And yeah, just being aware of that.

  • Ballerinas will have long term body issues because of their work.

  • Yeah, you see replacements with the answer's quite often.

  • So there is some truth in the long term issues, but ballet technique has been crafted for hundreds and hundreds of years.

  • So there's a lot of thought process that also went into like landing from jumps.

  • The reason we roll through the feet is one, it's aesthetically pleasing in two.

  • It's helpful for shock absorption on your body were going to pretend this is my Marley right here and here's my point shoes.

  • I jump up and I roll through the foot coming down instead of just going conch.

  • And that hard landing that's shocks into your ankle which goes into your knee and hits bodies and everything.

  • So it's like that roll down that helps with allowing the body to slowly control the weight that's coming from up above.

  • So ballet is like any other sport out there.

  • There is going to be long term effects that happen down the road because of just how much we're working our bodies.

  • But I mean it's kind of the sacrifice that you make because you love what you do.

  • You do not have to have long hair to be a dancer or to put it in a but there's ways you can make fake buns.

  • I knew a girl that has full pixie cut and she was a professional ballet dancer.

  • You just work with what you've got cos can't require you to have a certain type of hair.

  • I think kind of the only requirement.

  • And ask is that you keep your hair and natural color.

  • Okay, so now we're moving on to personality, There's a lot of competition and meanness within dancers.

  • Huh?

  • Dancers are neurotic obsessive narcissistic ballerinas are catty competitive and mean, no it's not black swan.

  • Like I can't stress that enough.

  • People aren't putting shards of glass and other people's point shoes, especially the culture at A B.

  • T.

  • I feel like I've been so fortunate and lucky.

  • Like the support we have for each other, where I've gone in there, had a bad day crying in the dressing room, I've got at least six women around me being like, let's talk.

  • How are you feeling?

  • Women are the best things ever.

  • Like, come on, we support each other and love each other and that's how we get stuff done and that's how our performance happens.

  • Ballerinas need a strong character and ego in order to handle the job.

  • There is some truth in that you have to be a strong person.

  • You're going to take some criticism.

  • I don't know one single person out there that hasn't had no said to them, You're never going to do this, You're not good enough and you can either take that and allow it to cripple you or you can be like, I'm gonna show you You do not determine my fate, I do moving onto career.

  • Uh this is something I think everybody gets asked a million questions about.

  • You have to start when you're young, you need to start when you were a child and when the bones and body are still flexible.

  • If not started young, then not accepted.

  • You cannot become a professional ballerina if you start late at 16, I started 11.

  • I consider that early to be starting a professional career.

  • I have really dear friend of mine, he was 20 years old when he waltzed into a ballet class he was like, oh, that looks cool, I'm gonna try it for the year.

  • He had a successful professional career, misty Copeland didn't start until she was later in life.

  • There's no magic number in order to become a professional.

  • Here's the other end of this question.

  • Ballerinas retire.

  • Super young Ballerinas have to retire in their early 30s.

  • You know, you become a professional and you've probably got 10-15 years and that's about it.

  • I would say like 30 35 is probably the average age that people retire, what we're doing is so hard and rigid and extreme on the body that you can kind of only handle it until you're in your prime.

  • That being said alessandra Ferri is in her fifties and still performing Juliet, there are anomalies out there, but it's not a shock that I'm going to be turning around 35 have to end my career as a dancer.

  • I think that's why a lot of people also give it their all.

  • And this ties into the beginning question of like, you have no social life, you can't do anything like our career short.

  • So we're gonna put everything my heart and soul into it because I know that it's only temporary.

  • And so you gotta enjoy it while you can just because you're not dancing on stage after you're retired.

  • Doesn't mean your career in ballet is over.

  • Like so many dancers go into choreography teaching open up their own dance studio.

  • Give back to the new generation coming up.

  • Like if you feel like you want to stay within the ballet industry, it's totally possible to do.

  • All right.

  • Next assumption.

  • Ballerinas automatically retired after having a baby false with so many moms in the company right now.

  • It's so awesome.

  • A lot of dancers have their babies take their year off usually to do everything and then come back sometimes stronger than ever.

  • Coaches are mean a f Yeah, I've had many coaches in the past.

  • I had one teacher.

  • She wouldn't allow us to wear toe pads and her pointe shoes.

  • So I used to wear my toe pads in my flat shoes with the tights over it and then I would just slip them into my point.

  • She's real quick when she wasn't looking.

  • But I think everybody's different.

  • Everybody's personalities different.

  • I wouldn't say coaches are mean, I would say their sometimes harsh there sometimes very truthful, but I don't think truth is mean.

  • I think sometimes it's hard to hear.

  • These are questions I get from men mostly.

  • Is that a real job?

  • You get paid for that.

  • They don't get paid a lot.

  • Ballet dancers struggled to make a living out of your job over in europe.

  • They're really lucky.

  • They're government funded over there.

  • So ballet dancers get a lifetime contract and they can make your career off of that.

  • That's not something we have in America.

  • Unfortunately, we are publicly funded where a non profit organization and every ballet company out there is, you know, I've worked my butt off, I've joined a B.

  • T.

  • I mean the number one ballet company in America, we have an extreme amount of funding.

  • I am able to live my lifestyle based off of my one singular job I have with american ballet theater.

  • That's not the case for every company we can perform more.

  • We go around tour where it's like a smaller company maybe has half the amount of weeks that they work.

  • So they have to get a second job on the side is a real job.

  • Yes, it's a real job.

  • Like you don't ask Lebron James if that's a real job for him.

  • Like come on, you know, so next is the point shoe section, they spend a lot on shoes when you're a student, you do pay for your shoes unless you're lucky enough to get sponsored.

  • And I see that a lot more, especially now with social media, you see like, oh, you know, you post about our pointe shoes, we'll give you free ones, which I think is just a super cool incentive program for young dancers, especially ones that can't afford as many point shoes as they need.

  • My parents help pay for my point shoes on as younger, I owe them my career.

  • But now being a professional dancer, I don't pay for my point shoes.

  • And that's usually the case with a lot of companies.

  • Most ballet companies have a budget for their point shoes and they provide pointe shoes to their dancers because that is part of our job is dancing in point.

  • It's just like uh computer company providing computers.

  • Like if I had to pay for pointe shoes now, I couldn't do it.

  • I go through a pair of pointe shoes every three days.

  • So that's over 700 pairs of my career so far.

  • About $100 a pop.

  • Like that's expensive.

  • All right.

  • There's wood or cement in your shoes.

  • No, no, there's not cement in my pointe shoes.

  • There is a thin strip of wood though, but just like so thin.

  • That doesn't even count as would the boxer pointe shoes.

  • I've got a parrot here.

  • It's like it's the glue.

  • It's a paste with layers and layers.

  • They're sturdy and they're strong, but they're soft enough that I can land a jump and be fully in control of shock absorption.

  • You couldn't even walk if you had cement in these shoes or in the shoes in general.

  • Mhm.

  • All right.

  • Um Getting on point is really easy, going on.

  • Point is fun.

  • Like, I love being in my pointe shoes.

  • I love dancing in my Pointe shoes.

  • I have worked taken every step of the water to be able to put on Pointe shoes.

  • I think some of the major things for when you are going on point and like what teachers look for is strength.

  • I think it's really helpful if you've kind of developed and maybe had a decent growth spurt where your bones are kind of starting to set in, it absolutely could be too dangerous to start young.

  • That's something that kind of scares me.

  • When I look at these video pops up or something you see, oh, a year old girl and points, you're doing six pirouettes like oh she should not be a point shoes yet.

  • That's scary.

  • But you know, to each their own, if you could focus on something, getting ready for your Pointe shoes is like get your calves and your ankles and your legs strong, especially your calf muscles.

  • Like those are the kind of like the workhorse of point, the final assumptions, It's not athletic.

  • A lot of people think dancers aren't strong, but actually it takes a lot of strength to dance.

  • I agree with that last one, so much misty Copeland always says the worst thing that she gets said to her is like, oh you're a ballet dancer, that's cute.

  • It is a um admirable and respectable career.

  • I just, I think it's so cool how the athleticism and the artistic aspect have created this beautiful thing called ballet.

  • I think people forget sometimes that you know, we don't just land a jump, like we have to land a jump, we have to land it properly, we have to take off properly.

  • Your feet have to be turned out when you take off, when you go up into the jump, it's not just like get as high as you can know, it's creating that position in the air, it's something that's otherworldly and I feel very fortunate that I found it in my life because I think it's just such a beautiful thing.

  • It's something really cool and unique and yeah, it's just I love ballet, thank you so much for submitting your misconceptions and assumptions.

  • It makes me giggle sometimes to hear some of them, but also really cool.

  • Um you know that there's people out there that are actually really interested in what I do as a professional, thank you so much for watching and I'll see you next time.

a lot of dancers have normal feet, they've been pretty good to me.

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B1 ballet professional dancer point career body

「バレエにまつわるよくある誤解」について、プロバレリーナが真実を明かす。| VOGUE JAPAN

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/11/26
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