Alexis Polito-Synder is not your typical 17 year-old ballet dancer. After finishing up her senior year at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia, Alexis will pack up and move to Chicago to begin her career as a professional dancer with the world famous Joffery Ballet.
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A tutu is a light ballet skirt. Tutu is a French word meaning “behind.” The term is less about the garment itself but more of a reference to what the garment covers!
Ballet is often thought of as artistic and beautiful. However, out of the 61 most common sports, only professional football is more physically demanding. Like football, dance is not an endurance sport. Dancers experience short bursts (1-2 minutes) of serious cardiac activity followed by periods of rest or easier dancing.
Dancers can go through about 400 pairs of shoes in a lifetime. At about $40 a pair, that’s $16,000 in shoes alone!
A 120 pound dancer burns almost 1,000 calories per performance. At that rate, a dance company of 100 people would burn 100,000 calories during a performance – that’s almost as many calories as in 364 regular size hamburgers!
Every step in ballet has an equal and opposite motion. For example, when you raise your arms, your shoulders should go down as your arms go up. When you kick up your leg (called a grande battement), your hip should stay down.
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