It is a common myth ballet schools such as Royal Ballet School have minimum height requirements. As mentioned on the Royal Ballet School UK website, there are no minimum height requirements enforced.
Other famous ballet schools did not mention the height requirement but hinted at some expectations such as:
- School of American Ballet (New York City, USA) - Applicants must have an anatomical structure suited to the demands of classical dance: a well-proportioned, flexible, coordinated body, legs that easily adopt the turned-out condition, and a high instep.
- Canada's National Ballet School (Toronto, Canada) - Nothing is mentioned about body requirements, and based on the selection. Video auditions are allowed too based on the website.
- Paris Opera Ballet School (Paris, France) - Nothing is mentioned about body requirements, and based on the selection
- Bolshoi Ballet Academy (Moscow, Russia, and also in New York) - Nothing is mentioned about body requirements, and based on the selection. Video auditions are allowed too based on the website.
Some schools mentioned requirements including:-
- Dutch National Ballet Academy (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - In one audition link, it mentioned that the minimum female height is 165cm, and for males it is 180cm
- Another school that mentioned specific height and weight requirements was the Vaganova Ballet Academy (Saint Petersburg, Russia). The minimum height starts from 130cm though. Someone posted its requirement (top is for girls, below is for boys) in 2016 as such that the ideal weight. For a 174cm (5.7ft) girl is 49.8kg (109.8lb) and for a 155cm (5ft) tall girl is 37kg (81.5lb). Weight fluctuation allowed for girls over 170cm (5.5ft) tall: +/- 2kg (4.4lb) and girls under 169cm (5.5ft) tall: +/- 1kg (2.2lb). Girls who weigh over 50kg (110lb) will have very limited access to partnering classes, to protect the boys from potential injuries.
The Royal Ballet has had many renowned ballerinas over the years, including Margot Fonteyn, Darcey Bussell, and Natalia Osipova, to name just a few. These dancers have achieved great success in their careers based on their exceptional talent, technique, and artistry, rather than their height.
Regardless, it's difficult to determine the "shortest" Royal Ballet ballerina, as ballet companies like the Royal Ballet in London have had many talented dancers of varying heights. The Royal Ballet has featured both petite and taller ballerinas, and height is not typically a determining factor in a dancer's success in the ballet world.
- Francesca Hayward is around 5 feet 2 inches (157cm) tall.
- Margot Fonteyn was around 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall.
- Darcey Bussell is approximately 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) tall.
- Natalia Osipova is around 5 feet 5 inches (165 cm) tall.
- Sylvie Guillem is roughly 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall.
Francesca Hayward is a prominent ballet dancer and a Principal of The Royal Ballet in London. Francesca Hayward has gained widespread recognition for her exceptional talent and artistry in ballet, and she is known for her roles in various classical and contemporary ballet productions.
It's important to note that Francesca Hayward's height did not hinder her successful career in ballet. What matters most in the ballet world is a dancer's skill, technique, artistry, and dedication to their craft, rather than their physical height. Francesca Hayward is an excellent example of how talent and hard work can lead to a successful career in ballet regardless of height.
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