Is Ballet Child Abuse?

“The ballet world in France – and beyond – is still quivering with indignation about a report leaked last month on the ill-treatment of children at the dance school of the Opéra National de Paris. The report said that the boarding school, one of the oldest classical dance schools in the world, operated a regime of ‘psychological terror’. Injuries were ignored; anorexia was common and even, implicitly, encouraged. The pupils, aged from eight to 18, known affectionately as ‘little rats’, lived under a permanent threat of expulsion to goad them beyond their mental and physical limits. The report has provoked an interesting and passionate debate in France. Is the Paris Opéra school cruel to children? Or is it classical dance itself that is cruel?”