Do You Have To Be Beautiful To Be A Dance Star?

“Woman is the goddess, the poetess, the muse,” Balanchine once said. “That is why I have a company of beautiful girl dancers.” Would he have been happy, in that regard, with the current company? There are some very attractive women (and men, but Balanchine cared less about them) in today’s City Ballet. Yes, when he came to the United States he sought to make a company of all-American dancers, fresh-faced and perky. But some of the company’s biggest female stars now are spectacular dancers without being spectacular beauties. Is it merely sexist to lament that the current roster is not “a company of beautiful girl dancers?”