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.
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