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Dear Katie: Is My Body Wrong for Ballet?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I've reached a point where it's clear that my body isn't designed for ballet. Realizing that broke my heart, because dancing with a classical ballet company was always my dream. Some of my teachers have said that I should audition for contemporary groups, but I feel like that would be weird—I've barely studied contemporary dance, and I don't love it. Should I quit dance? Or should I go down a path I'm not 100 percent passionate about?

Aaliyah


Dear Aaliyah,

I know how difficult this kind of situation can be. Here's the truth as I know it: No matter what you do in the dance world, you need to love it more than anything. Dance is an incredibly tough career, so if you aren't passionate about it, it won't work.

Having said that, how do you know that your body isn't right for ballet? Many companies are open to dancers of all different shapes and sizes. I'd encourage you to do some research before giving up on your dream. Broaden your ballet horizons! Look into smaller or regional companies, which tend to be more open-minded about body types than the big-name groups.

Should you start taking some contemporary classes during the process? Of course—it can only help you. But don't quit ballet cold turkey. And if, at the end of this process, you decide that dancing professionally isn't for you, that's OK! Choosing a different path doesn't make you a failure.

For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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