Body issues haunt the ballet world. The long, leggy ballet silhouette of the last 20 years has created a near-impossible ideal. Dancers learn early that 10 pounds can spell the difference between success or failure on the professional track. Some succumb to eating disorders. Others reluctantly leave their ballet dreams behind.
Then Boo came along. The loveable, unofficial heroine of ABC Family’s “Bunheads” doesn’t have a traditional ballet body. Yet she dreams of a ballet career despite her curves. Like Kaitlyn Jenkins, our cover star who plays Boo, she has the tenacity and spirit not to give up. Jenkins’ love of ballet opened up an unexpected path to a professional career. Will that happen for Boo as well? Time will tell. But she—and Jenkins—have already changed the shape of the ballet body debate.
As Jenkins discovered, finding the perfect dance job means being open and wholehearted in your efforts. Our annual audition guide lists dozens of opportunities. Check out what’s coming, but before you register, be sure to read “Auditions: The Hidden Pitfalls” for tips and tactics to help you avoid common mistakes. You’ll find that flawless technique means less to artistic directors than an ability to articulate the essence of the choreography. And that personality can often trump physique.
So don’t waste too much of your audition energy on turnout…or worrying if you have a perfect body. Be like Boo—give it your all.
Also In This Issue
Pointe went inside a Boston Ballet audition to shoot the selection process and find who makes the cut—and why.
“I’ve noticed a parallel between who registers first, who goes in the first groups, and who’s really eager and ready to join this company. It tells me about your commitment level.” —Mikko Nissinen
“Never forget you are an individual. Really look at your characteristics and apply the rules of ballet to your own body. Don’t try to copy others or change what can’t be changed.” —Uliana Lopatkina in “Reverence”