gosh, this thread has run away with itself!<P>stuart, you might be interested to know that the RBS upper school used to have regular graham classes from Diane Gray, who then moved back to New York to head the Graham School - i think i've got that right - anyway, my point is that she was really 'high up there' in terms of the graham method, and yet, any RBS students i heard mention it talked of it with disdain or contempt....quite unappreciative of either who she was, or what she had to offer - one thing is, they are very young, often immature; another is that those who have acquired the technical level to get in there, have usually had quite a focused (if not closeted) upbringing dance-wise before arriving, so generally, they were fairly narrow-minded about ballet and modern dance, and there was not enough acceptance of what they were being offered to really make good use of it. and IMO, that lack of appreciation of more modern genres DID show in their ballet work onstage, when in the company. if stock can move them forward, and i'm sure she can - so much the better.<P>i agree with christina that there are teachers who can offer a far richer experience of ballet than some others. one of my best-ever, most inspirational teachers was an RBS graduate who went into the rambert company, then studied at the graham school in new york, then danced with rambert again when it had moved into its more modern phase....(marilyn williams - now in edinburgh, i believe.) <P>she would give ballet class with parallel as well as turned out positions, with contractions in the plié exercise, etc - with off-center balances, and so on - in other words, her ballet class COULD be a very challenging mix of ballet and graham, and all the better for it, technically as well as dynamically.<P>when gretchen ward warren was last here, she was asked at a teachers seminar which i organised, what training she thought ballet dancers needed these days - in these very terms we are speaking of - and her answer was contemporary/modern class at least twice or three times a week, in addition to ballet every day, of course.<P>basheva, with regard to your very first question, i would think the opposite way:- that, physiologically, for example, a dancer (or anyone else) who spends a lot of time in high heels, would be well-advised to also spend a lot of time without heels......to balance the demands on the musculature....