Forum: Ballet / Pas De Deux

Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 03:16 AM

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I posted here, I'm really happy to say that I have finally started pas. I've been training and taking pas class once a week since November. I have very little skin left on my big toes now. :/

One of my teachers (a guy teacher who teaches me pas) says he feels I'm ready to start looking for a partner to train with. Since I'm 6'2" en pointe, he recommends someone about that height plus or minus 2 inches (I personally would prefer that he be taller by an inch). But does that sound right?

I live in California, USA, btw.

Not since I started dancing have I really noticed the height of people around me, but I do remember always being the shortest in my class when I was littler and always looking up at everyone. My family (my mom's side) is Chinese/Russian, they're about 6'4" on average, so I was always considered short when I stopped growing at 5'10".

I went around town today and I literally counted the average height of men in my town and in my studio (we have a whole bunch... five :P), the average height of men in my town is about 5'6", and the male dancers at my studio at my level are about 6'0".

Also (quickly calculating here) the average height of all the male dancers that I have ever met, would be 5'8".

Is it true that men are getting shorter? In my town, I always see Asian and Chinese folk towering over short little white folk and it's weird to me because when I travel out of town it's totally the opposite. But overall it really feels like everyone is getting shorter.

What are my chances of finding a dance partner tall enough? what are the height of dancers at your studio? I want to get a reference so I can figure the odds of me finding the right partner.

9 Replies to Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?

re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 08:28 AM
Height depends partly on the diet someone had while they were growing up. For a long time, the US had a fair number of girls trained in ballet but almost no boys, so that the male dancers were, in comparison to a girl up on pointe, short having come from many foreign countries which were richer in culture but less affluent in food. They may have had healthy, well-balanced diets but could not cram in the amount of meat necessary to grow really tall. And I'm not sure that a taller body is necessarily a longer-lived one, either. Time will tell.

In any case, today it may depend on the community in which you live. If you have young people of Asian descent who were born in the US they are probably tall, whereas if you have immigrants from Mexico and some of the less affluent countries, perhaps former Soviet Republic nations, then they'll be shorter.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By msiegw
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 04:40 PM
I wouldn't say that non Americans are shorter because of poor food! Apart of the third world there are only few other countries with worser food than in America. The fact is the american eat hormone meat. Therefore Americans are too tall. The living quality in many European countries is much higher than in many states of America. The people are shorter because there are limits of the amount of hormone that are given to the cows. Limits of the hormone would lead in a smaller profit for the farmers which will induce to a problem for the government as well.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By RosePremium member
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 04:55 PM
msiegw wrote:

The living quality in many European countries is much higher than in many states of America. The people are shorter because there are limits of the amount of hormone that are given to the cows.


Excuse me, the Dutch are the tallest people in the world. Yes, hormones in food are not tolerated here.

Your length has to do with your parents. Two short parents give a short kid. Two tall parents give a tall kid. That's hormonal yes, but not the kind of hormones that make animals meat grow fatter/bigger.

It's the combination of growing plates in your body and the hormones that develop them (different hormones than the ones that make meat develop). The sooner the growing plates are completely developped, the sooner the length grow will stop.

Food has nothing to do with it. In some African countries people hardly have any food, but they still keep growing and can become very tall. And you can't blame anyone below 5 feet for not eating (healthy) enough.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By dancinislife0607member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 08:25 PM
I don't know statistically or scientifically, but as a girl who's 5'10"-ish, I tend to think there aren't enough tall guys! Seriously, though, I know how you feel. My family is a lot like yours, height-wise, but when I go en pointe, I'm almost as tall as my dad. Which makes me feel like a giant :P
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 08:34 PM
Funny: as a girl who is 4'10'', I kept thinking guys are way too tall!

If you keep looking, you'll find someone appropriate. Don't be discouraged because it didn't happen right away. :)
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By Wicked_Elphabamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 08:37 PM
I am 5'5. I love my height. My boyfriend is 5'8. He's the perfect height for me. :D Which is awesome considering he dances as well and wants to be my Pas de Deux partner. :) Don't get discouraged, there are tall guys out there.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:18 PM
msiegw wrote:

I wouldn't say that non Americans are shorter because of poor food! Apart of the third world there are only few other countries with worser food than in America. The fact is the american eat hormone meat. Therefore Americans are too tall. The living quality in many European countries is much higher than in many states of America. The people are shorter because there are limits of the amount of hormone that are given to the cows. Limits of the hormone would lead in a smaller profit for the farmers which will induce to a problem for the government as well.

Actually, I think a lot of countries where people cannot afford (or do not choose to spend their money on) just meat, meat, meat, have BETTER diets. Just because people grow taller does not mean they are healthier. But a diet extraordinarily high in meat and dairy (i.e. protein) while growing up does produce taller people, for better or for worse. People in the US have grown taller and taller for quite some time now, over succeeding generations, as we have consumed more and more meat. And, since we are a nation of immigrants from all over the world, you can see the effect in people whose ancestors came from all parts of the globe. Of course genetics plays a significant role in height. But a typical immigrant family from a less affluent (or less meat-addicted) country often have parents of a shorter height than their grown children who were born in the US. On average if the parents are already unusually tall, chances are their children will be unusually taller.

A while ago I read about a study of older adults in the UK and in the US showing that the UK group were healthier than the US group. The study encompassed a lot of people born during the boomer years. It tried to compensate, mathematically, for such things as a sedentary lifestyle vs one which required walking a lot to work, to the store, etc. plus access to medical care or lack of same. Overall, there was no explanation for the difference. My personal guess is that it had to do with nutrition during and, especially after, WWII. The British children didn't starve but their families had to pay attention to make sure they had a well-rounded diet during their growing years. The US kids had rationing during WWII but it wasn't too bad. And after the war there came a boom where, wow! you could eat as much ice cream and as many hamburgers as you wanted. The UK kids continued to eat more sensibly.

As for hormones in meat production, it is not impossible that this a factor. You can read all sorts of studies and expert opinions on both sides of the issue. Time will tell.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By SPCPADANCER
On Mon Dec 20, 2010 09:05 PM
I know what you mean. It is very hard to find a dance partner with height of six two.
re: Finding a partner, are male dancers getting shorter?
By MattH95
On Thu Dec 30, 2010 05:54 PM
I agree with lidwina it hasn't got much to do with having hormones in your food it's all genetics and it doesn't just apply to how tall your parents are it can be uncles and aunts also I live in NZ and I'm Pretty sure we got no hormones in our food, I'm pretty sure that it also depends on how clear your air is if it's very smoggy you won't be as tall and if it's clear u will be tall. I'm a 6"3 guy and my parents are both 5"10.
If your looking for tall guys I suggest looking for rowers or ex rowers because they are tall and strong.

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