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Dorothée Gilbert: “There were teachers who took pins to prick the dancers’ buttocks when our buttocks were out”

The journey of a star dancer is not the most relaxing.

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Dorothée Gilbert: “There were teachers who took pins to prick the dancers’ buttocks when our buttocks were out”

The journey of a star dancer is not the most relaxing. A discipline of demands and effort, dance is difficult training. Dorothée Gilbert, star of the Paris Opera ballet, spoke at length to Thibaut Gauthier in “Le Figaro la nuit”, the traveling show of Le Figaro.

Is classical dance training a challenge? Are apprentice dancers mistreated? “It’s not mistreatment as we understand it. However, we mistreat our bodies. Classical dance is unnatural. To achieve the physical characteristics of classical dancers, you have to force yourself. You have to hurt yourself a little. It’s not sadomasochism,” she explains.

“Dance teachers are no longer like they were before,” explains Dorothée Gilbert. In my time, there were teachers who threw stools in the classroom, who took pins to poke our butts when our butts were out. (...) The way of teaching has changed. Harassment didn’t exist at the time.”

“You can be demanding while being a teacher and achieve your goals without being tyrannical,” she concludes. It’s not enough to yell at them for children to move forward.”

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