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Young dancers are training at a very vulnerable time in their lives, through adolescence, and while they are trying to work out who they are as people, never mind as a dancer. So train the whole person, not just the dancer.
You increase muscle bulk by training against resistance. For example, weights. And in ballet, this isn't the case.
People often argue about this. Obviously one of the skills in performance is acting, and you can't expect every Romeo to really be in love with their Juliet!
It's not magic! It's physics. The speed of the turn is what keeps you upright. It's like a spinning top.
It's not about weight, it's about fitness, and one component of being fit is to have relatively low body fat, because fat is not very efficient, whereas muscle is.
It's another myth that dancing distorts or destroys your feet. If you have the right shaped foot to start and a good, strong technique, your feet should be fine.
I've always believed that the facts about dancing are more interesting than the myths, and this was a great chance for me to explore how the human body does such incredible things.
I think the shape of our bodies has as much to do with the shape of our parents as it does with training.
I think it's useful to experience other types of dance and other cultures, and the life of a classical dancer these days is certainly not all tutus! So experience of other dance forms is a good idea.
I have lots of interests, but it's true that dancing is a very full-time job.
I get to the theatre in plenty of time; I prepare my shoes in advance; I eat and drink the right things at the right time. The rest you have to leave to luck!
I do take class because I still dance, and yes, I do slip into class with the Royal Ballet from time to time.
I always recommend a sensible diet, including lots of carbohydrates and avoiding too much fat. Dancers don't need different fuel from other people - they just need more of it because they use more energy.
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