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 email@example.com 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.
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB 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 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers