Dear Katie: I'm Self Conscious About My Bow Legs in Dance Class!
Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm bowlegged, which I didn't think was a big deal, but now that I'm a more advanced dancer,I'm self-conscious about it—especially in first position, where it's really obvious. Is there anything I can do to camouflage my bow legs? Will I end up injured?
Not to worry—lots of dancers are bowlegged! As long as you're working correctly, you shouldn't be at any additional risk of injury. Make sure you aren't locking your knees. To keep from shifting your weight backwards into your knees, think about staying on the balls of your feet and lifting up out of your waist. Strengthening your calves and hamstrings, which help support your knee joints, can also prevent injury.
Aesthetically speaking, I wouldn't try to camouflage your bowlegs. You could end up overcompensating and pulling a muscle—or worse. Instead, focus on the bright side: Bowlegs can actually enhance the line of your arabesque. Be proud of them!
For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.
James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)
Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.
Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.