Didn’t see the article but I will way in since I am probably the only guy on this entire website that worked on Cruise Ships for 10yrs with my wife as a dancer/acrobat duo and now works as a QMED on a drill ship. My wife was a ballerina since she was 4 and I can tell you the dance world is brutal, especially for girls. We’ve worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines onboard the Norwegian Sea, Wind, Dream, Majesty, and the Star. Saga Cruise Lines out of the UK on the Saga Rose. And NYK Cruise Lines on the MS Asuka.
Auditions to get jobs in the dance world, mostly have nothing to do with your ability. Too tall/short = no job. Brown hair = no job, Blond hair = no job. Short or long body = no job. 5lbs over the weight they want = no job. Lots of times you never even get to show your ability before you get nixed for the job.
She was constantly told that she was too fat, too skinny, ugly, wrong body type, too tall, too short, legs were too short/long, fat thighs, thighs too skinny, bony knees, and told that she should quit, etc. Most of this stuff happens during the impressionable teen years and that is one reason most ballerinas have poor self esteem and eating disorders. She moved to London at 17 to dance for English National Ballet and was told basically at the beginning that she would never make it as a soloist, ever, and that she may need to rethink her choice to dance. And my wife is an amazing ballet dancer.
The perfect ballerina body is around 5’7, long legged, small head, boobs, butt, perfect hands, great feet, and about 20lbs underweight. If you aren’t born that way they will try to make you be that way. I have heard of and seen many dancers that are bulimic just to maintain a certain weight for whatever company they are in. Most ballerinas smoke in order to feel less hungry and some even eat toilet paper to satisfy there hunger pains. My wife did do some lifts with the ballet guys, but nothing like what we did in our act, and nothing ever as dangerous.
As for me I did lots of gymnastics, tap, jazz, and some ballet. Ended up quitting ballet due to teasing during middle school, but was never bullied or anything. I also played football (badly haha) during high school for a couple years, and was always working on cars and stuff with my dad. Anyone can do the basics of baseball, football, or basketball. Sure they may suck at it, but they can physically do the basics like throw a ball or run a pattern. A random guy can’ t even perform the basic movements of gymnastics or ballet without years of coaching and practice, the physical ability/strength/flexibility just isn’t there. None of my dancing growing up was too stressful but once i started working professionally it definitely got worse.
Once my wife and I started dating we decided to build an acro act using my gymnastics and her ballet skills. We found a coach in Vegas and trained with him. Then we started working on cruise ships again and I can tell you that every time we performed on that boat I literally had my wifes life in my hands. We specialized in overhead lifts, tricks, and throws. I’d have her up over my head in one hand, while she was in the splits, spinning her around and around. If the couple is doing it correctly the man should never be looking up at the girl, so most of it is done semi-blind. We would do some throws with totally blind catches, where if i missed she would hit the floor head first. I can tell you that our mental focus during some of those tricks was so intense that nothing else existed. We did some aerial work as well. 20ft up in some lycra material with no safety net other than your grip strength is not OSHA approved. Some people recently have actually died doing it.
Say what you want, but Ive performed our normal acro act in 15ft seas. It sucked and it was dangerous as hell, but we still did it. My wife dislocated her shoulder in the first number of a show on the Norwegian Wind and we still did every lift and throw in that hour long show. Then we didn’t work again for 7 months, haha.
So in my humble opinion: “Apparently getting your head bashed in by your bulkhead while you’re trying to sleep but the ship is rocking and rolling too much is not nearly as much of a challenge in daily life as going to ballet practice.” I would agree with this statement. Ballet practice, especially at an advanced/professional level is much more stressful than trying to sleep on a rolling ship.
Just my 32 cents.
Oh, and I’ve never worn tights either.