Is British Ballet Really In Trouble With The Girls?

“Last week, former ballerina Dame Antoinette Sibley announced that the future of British ballet looked bleak, pointing to a lack of home-grown principals in British ballet companies: two out of 16 at the Royal Ballet, two out of 12 at English National Ballet and three out of 12 at Birmingham Royal Ballet. She also quoted what she called “shocking” figures from the Royal Academy of Dance showing a 67% drop-out rate of students at age 10-11. Is this really so surprising? After all, this is the age for dancers when the hard work really kicks in, and clothes and boys start to seem more appealing to many girls than pliés and pointe work. Not to mention that the stick-thin physique that dancers strive for is often thwarted by the development of womanly curves.”