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Jenifer Ringer: fat ballerina?


Is Jenifer Ringer overweight for a dancer?

I say no. Her port de bras is lovely and I’m not aware of her being much more different than the average corps girl. I had read with interest in some biography of her that while she was with ABT, she had something of a breaking point, left, gained 40 pounds, decided to come back, lost 40 pounds, and rejoined the company. An uncommon journey, I think, but one that someone with less talent would not have been able to accomplish–that is, I feel that once you leave a company, it can be hard to get back in, whatever happened in the meantime.

In any case I feel that the NY Times critic was not making a useful criticism of her as a dancer. It’s one thing to say that a dancer isn’t light on her feet, but it’s quite another to say that she’s overweight. That kind of critique is taken very seriously–too seriously–by professional dancers.  I think this happened some time ago with a Russian dancer–her company had taken her partner away because they thought she was too big? In all honesty weight is important in partnering, but from what I’ve read men prefer partners who are well muscled because they can hold themselves better than a weak girl who has a low weight but not enough muscle tone.

More about this here, plus a video interview with Ringer: