Tamara Rojo Wants To Stamp Out Anorexia in Ballet

Principal ballerina, Tamara Rojo, now head of the English National Ballet has definite ideas about what she wants the dance troupe to adopt under her direction as far as body weight and image, and for good reason.

Tamara Rojo Wants to Stomp Out Anorexia in Ballet

Tamara Rojo in Esmeralda Variation. Image source: YouTube excerpt.

After years of observing fellow ballerinas adopt unhealthy eating habits, Tamara Rojo wants to stamp out anorexia in ballet.

Rojo was born in Montreal, Canada, to Spanish parents who moved back to Spain when she was four months old.

She started dancing at the age of 10 in Víctor Ullate Dance Centre in Madrid (1983–1991), and completed her training under David Howard and Renato Paroni. Rojo continued to work with the Ullate Company from 1991 to 1996.

At the age of 20 she was offered a contract with the Scottish Ballet, by Galina Samsova. Of her arrival at Scottish Ballet Rojo has jokingly said “I spoke no English at this time but it did not matter; neither did they.” She would dance with them until her move to the English National Ballet in June 1997. There she was promoted to Principal Dancer in January 1998.

She officially joined Royal Ballet as a Principal Dancer at the start of the 2000/2001 season, although she danced Giselle with the Royal Ballet at the end of the previous season in July 2000, at short notice and as a replacement for Darcey Bussell, who was injured.

Ms. Rojo’s biography excerpted from Wikipedia.org. Original source here.

This past April 13, Tamara Rojo was appointed artistic director of the English National Ballet. She believes women in ballet go through excruciating pressure to remain stick thin; unhealthy.

Tamara Rojo Wants To Stamp Out Anorexia in Ballet

The Daily Mail’s Colin Fernandez reported on Ms. Rojo’s plans for ENB in his article:

“English National Ballet chief orders dancers to put on weight after audience complaints that stars are too thin”

…she wants to stamp out anorexia in ballet.

She said: ‘Audiences want to see beautiful and healthy-looking dancers yet there is still that pressure to be thin.

Miss Rojo, 37,  continues: ‘But I have preached and will continue to preach. I have never been thin and I want for myself and for others to have long and healthy careers. This also comes from what is in your head, as the mind rules the body.’ 

Miss Rojo has played to great acclaim all the leading roles in ballet including those of Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia and Romeo and Juliet – and has been frequently compared to Dame Margot Fonteyn who was ‘definitely not thin’.

‘In the longer term a dancer who persistently consumes too little food can compromise bone health, leading to stress fractures and osteoporosis, [and harm to] the reproductive system, kidneys and heart.’

In the interview Ms. Rojo added:

‘This was what was wrong with Black Swan. We get much more good nutritional advice now, so I and others expect to be, and remain, healthy for a long time.’ ‘Injuries are easier to cure.

‘Yes, we still have to exercise for six hours a day, and there is a lot of strain on our legs and feet in particular, but we are better trained, as we also do Pilates and weights.’

Original article at Daily Mail.
Observe the following video of Ms. Rojo where she performs a variation from the ballet Esmeralda. You’ll notice she is not stick thin, but rather has a healthy (rounder) complexion.

Video from YouTube.com.
Tamara Rojo wants to stamp out anorexia in ballet. Won’t you support her cause in promoting healthier eating habits and weight for ballerinas, by Sharing this post with your friends. Help get the word out. Until next time!
About Romy Macias, Senior Editor

Romy danced with the Ballet Clasico de Queretaro Fernando Jhones for 10 years having reached 1st soloist position. She presently takes on character roles and teaches at the company's junior academy. This site is a testament to her passion for classical ballet. You're invited to be part of our community and join in the joy for this amazing art form.

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