Dear Katie: Is There Hope for a Well-Endowed Dancer?
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 don't know what to do about my chest! Over the past year, I've gone from a 32B to a 32D, and it's awful. No leotards fit me, I'm self-conscious in all my costumes, and I even feel like it's affecting my sense of balance. Is there any hope for a well-endowed dancer?
You're far from alone! Many successful professional ballerinas are well-endowed. I know several who have to wear extra support under every costume, and it hasn't affected their careers one bit. Plus, these days, there are more and better undergarments available than ever before. A lot of pros rely on flesh-colored dance bras with clear straps that provide a bit of compression, keeping your chest "locked down" under a leotard or costume. You can find those kinds of undergarments online or in nearly any dance supply store. And more and more leotard lines, like Misty Copeland's Égal, are including powerful built-in support, too.
In terms of technique, focus on your alignment. Dancers with larger chests can sometimes overcompensate by either leaning backward (to offset the weight of their breasts) or hunching forward (to try to camouflage their curves). Always make sure your shoulders are in line with your hips. Think of lifting up toward the ceiling during balances and pirouettes, which will help you create a truly straight line with your body.
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.