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Thread: Alexandra Ansanelli, NYCB and Royal Ballet and Scoliosis

  1. #1
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    Alexandra Ansanelli, NYCB and Royal Ballet and Scoliosis

    I thought I'd submit a second interesting article on ballet and scoliosis. Alexandra Ansanelli was with the NYCB and is now a principal with the Royal Ballet in Great Britain. There's an interesting comment about the change in her height during the day which also happens to my daughter and I believe Mamamax has also mentioned it.

    "During the season, she is in rehearsals by 10:30 a.m., which last until 6 p.m. Other dancers take a break between 6 and the 8 p.m. performance, but not Ms. Ansanelli: she has severe scoliosis, so she does back exercises during the down time. ''It's a constant reminder that I'm not some otherworldly creature, even though I try to project that on stage,'' she said. ''It definitely humbles me.'' She does not have time to have a boyfriend. ''Hopefully there is a future there,'' she says. Ms. Ansanelli does admit one indulgence: she has a fondness for designer clothing, which she indulges on her modest ballerina budget by hitting sample sales. ''I love Versace, and Christian Dior, and Oscar de La Renta,'' she says. When we met, she was wearing a tailored, long-sleeved Versace dress in striped charcoal wool, and a sumptuous green brocaded coat, trimmed in fur.

    Ms. Ansanelli has struck a human-interest chord with the public because of the daunting obstacles she has faced. There is her scoliosis, which she hid from her fellow dancers during her final growing years and which even now makes her height vary as much as an inch from day to day (she stands 5-feet-5 1/2 at her tallest)."
    The rest of the article is really only if you're interested in ballet, but here's the link if you're interested.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/14/ar...cing-diva.html

  2. #2
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    Thank you for posting this. I've never seen Ms Ansanelli dance and now that she's left NY I guess I won't. She is considered to be an amazing dancer. Do you have any idea what they mean by "severe scoliosis"? I wonder if their idea of severe is at all the same as those of us in these forums. It gives me hope for my daughter who is determined to continue with dance despite her situation. One interesting thing in her case, she was having trouble keeping her turns tight (since she doesn't have a straight axis to turn around) but she started pointe this year and having to learn to turn on pointe has improved all of her turns.

  3. #3
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    No, I don't know what they mean, and believe me I've searched hard to try and find any of these ballerinas' Cobb angles. I'm linking an article that states that Ansanelli was in a brace at night during her ballet training, who knows if she still wears it? If she does, that might account for the large change in her height during the day. I'm actually tempted to try and write her and ask for any advice for my daughter and see if she responds...who knows, she might...

    "And even today, she must wear a back brace at night -- ''while I grow'' -- to correct for scoliosis, curvature of the spine."
    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/01/mo...of-spring.html

  4. #4
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    Oh, you might also be interested in a young lady from Florida who was accepted into NYCB with a 35 degree scoliosis curve. This is the only article I've ever read that had a measurement of the curve associated with it.

    http://www.sptimes.com/2002/08/18/Fl..._stretch.shtml

    I believe Heather Watts at NYCB was noticeably curved with scoliosis to the audience and was still a phenomenal principal dancer for years.

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