Dear Katie: If I Don't Have the "Traditional" Ballet Body, Do I Have a Future in Professional Ballet?

February 19, 2018

In our “Dear Katie” series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email [email protected] for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I want to dance in a ballet company, but I’m insecure about my body. I’m not skinny, and I don’t think I ever will be, because that’s just not the way I’m built. Please be honest with me: If I don’t have the traditional ballet body, do I have a future in professional ballet?


Dear Lucy,

Here’s the good news: There’s a growing movement in ballet to prioritize healthy bodies over simply skinny ones, which means there are many professionals today who don’t have the “typical” ballet body. You don’t have to be a string bean with perfect facility to have a ballet career. Most company directors are more concerned with how you dance than how much you weigh, and every director wants to hire strong, energetic artists.

Here’s the bad news: The reality is that some directors do still like the look of thin bodies, which means some doors in the ballet world might be closed to you. But don’t let that discourage you. Focus on your health, and aim to be the best dancer you can be, in your own beautiful body.

For more of Katie’s helpful tips and advice, click here.