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Guest Column, 1-4: Answers for Dancers
Will my body keep me from having the career I want?
By Grover Dale
Copyright 2008 Grover Dale
Previously published on Answers4dancers.com.
I am a 16-year-old female dancer. I am 5' 5" and weigh about 150 pounds.
Although a lot of it is muscle I would like to lose the weight. But my
question is this: Do you think a girl my size could make it on Broadway?
Aside from dance I also have years of training in vocal performance and
acting. Although I have had all the training and still pursue more, I fear
that because of my body I will not make it onto Broadway to fulfill my life-long dream.
If we're meant to dance, we dance. Body type or weight don't have to stop us
from realizing our dream. No one has the perfect dancer's body. (Well, maybe
a few!) But we don't let that stand in our way. The body we've got is the
one we were meant to have. We help it to look as good as possible, we work
hard, and we dance anyway.
The worst case scenario: If we don't fit into what "popular taste" demands,
we simply accept that our job opportunities will be lessened. There will be
certain jobs that we won't get. The good news is... that physical perfection
is loosening its grip on the minds of casting directors and producers. More
and more, dancers of all sizes, colors, and shapes are being employed. Real
people are "in," Melissa... and don't forget it!
Grover Dale has performed, directed, and choreographed for the stage,
screen, and television. Thanks to 16 Broadway musicals, eight motion pictures,
and 85 TV productions, he is the recipient of the Tony, Drama Desk,
Dramalogue, Emmy, and Clio Awards. Today, he and a team of pros continue to
jump-start dance careers by combining live workshops with video programming