Myth Busters: Dancer Edition #1

 

Is the Loch Ness monster a real thing? Can bullets be stopped with a book? These are common-day myths that we’ve heard from since young, but for dance, are there any such myths?

It’s Mister Breton back at it with a new series called Myth Busters: Dancer Edition!

In edition #1 of the series, I will be tackling some common myths in the world of ballet, and if you have myths that you want to be debunked by your’s truly, do leave a comment on the comment section below!

Without further ado, let us begin.

1) Ballet is for girls only.

There is a common misconception that the genre of ballet dancing is done by the ladies. While that is true to a certain extent, BOYS ARE ABLE TO DO BALLET TOO!
To begin with, Ballet originally started out as an all MALE genre of dance back in the 16th century! Males who do pursuit ballet have to put in double the effort to match the flexibility of our female counterparts as genetically, us males aren’t as flexible around our inner thigh areas. But past this minor disadvantage, guys really execute ballet moves pretty damn well!

If you do not believe me, here is a snippet of a production from the American Ballet Theater,  performing a segment of Romeo and Juliet, a timeless classic piece.

2) Does it hurt when you go en pointe?

Yes, it does! but the pain generally lessens as time goes by when your legs slowly build up strength and adjust to the pain. Dancers generally go en pointe only when they are ready (e.g. ankle and feet muscles are well established), and not immediately.

3) Ballerinas only change their pointe shoes when it gets too tight for them.

This is yet another major misconception. Similarly to other forms of dance, the lifespan of a ballerina’s pointe shoes depends on how often it’s used. Unless you are able to identify a worn out pointe shoe via experience or knowledge, it’s hard to tell when it is worn out and that can lead to serious trouble.

In general, it’s never a good idea to dance with worn-out shoes. Doing that only promotes a higher risk of injury while training or performing and nobody wants that. For ballerinas,  a worn out pointe shoe causes more harm than good as it will lead to really uncomfortable pain on your foot and worst, an even more serious injury like breaking your ankle, a career-ending injury for any ballerina.

Thus, its always to have your instructor or someone to help you check your pointe shoes once in a while and do tell them when you do feel some abnormal discomfort when going on pointe.  There’s no shame in showing pain to protect something greater!

 

Well, that’s all the myths for pointe shoes busted for now!

If you enjoyed today’s debunking, do let us know in the comment section below! Also, do tell us what other myths do you want me to cover as well.

This is Mister Breton, Signing off!

 

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