Hurray for the Joffrey Ballet and their commitment:http://www.joffrey.org/company/auditions
. The Joffrey Ballet is committed to being a multicultural ballet company; dancers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to send audition materials. Receipt of audition materials does not guarantee a class audition.
Look at their dancers. They backup what they say.LMTech says:
I think there are two non-negotiables in ballet: highly arched feet and long legs. If dancers of any ethnic background (including white) lack those two things, they will not progress. Misty Copeland has both.
I have to disagree with that Tech. Tina Leblanc former San Francisco ballerina had short legs and curvy hips. She wrote an article about how she had to overcome the fact that her body wasn't the "perfect ballet body."Look at former prima of the Houston ballet Lauren Anderson--a dark skinned black woman who had more of the build of a track runner than a birdlike ballerina-and that was even after she lost weight. Also you can tell from photos that her feet weren't naturally arched--pretty flat for a ballet dancer as a matter of fact. Even the former director Ben Stevenson said he was wrong he said she could not be a ballerina. Speaking of Misty Copeland, look at her photos on her website when you have a chance. The girl has an absolute hour glass figure-big busted, rounded hips, very muscular thighs. A non negotable anti-build for a ballerina in almost all cases. I've read were dancers would have surgery to alter their breast as a matter of fact as well as starve themselves. Misty also said in an article that her body wasn't "perfect" for ballet.
Its known that even though Ballanchine loved modern dancers like Judith Jameson and Katherine Dunham, he really didnt want black woman as ballerinas beause he didnt think it fit his personal image
of what a ballerina should look like. Unfortunately many of his ex dancers head companies and carry this somewhat narrow vision. Peter Martins was good enough to put Aesha Ashe in solo roles while she was at NYC Ballet but didnt have the guts to make her an official solo dancer let along a principle. He pretty much told her to leave the company when she wanted to just take a break because of private issues she was going through siting he didnt see her advancing any further in the company.
It still pretty much hurts when you are told you can't do something because of your race or gender. It especially is troubling when theres proof out there that the conculsion is totally wrong! I think that most people here are open minded about the issue, but it seems like unless you experience that kind of prejudice directly
you really have no idea why it's still such a big deal especially in the ballet world.