Letter: Dance training is out of step

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Sir: I thoroughly agree with Derek Deane, artistic director of the English National Ballet, that dancers' training is poor (report, 6 June). Only yesterday I saw a young ballet dancer, just coming up to exams, who is physically totally unsuited to ballet.

She had no natural turnout at the hips and, as foot placing was demanded by the teacher, she had to compensate from the knees down. The result is stretched tendons and ligaments around the ankles, causing severely pronated feet which her mother can no longer find shoes to fit. A simple examination would have excluded her from ballet training at the outset.

If there is no control in who goes in to the schools, and not enough control of the teaching, is it any wonder that the results of professional auditions are unsatisfactory?

Yours faithfully,


British Institute of

Musculoskeletal Medicine

Northwood, Middlesex