YouTube Lets Ballerinas DIY

But teachers are 'horrified', cite potential for injury
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 2:44 PM CDT
Atlanta Ballet dancers rehearse for the company's upcoming production entitled "big" Tuesday, March 25, 2008 in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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(Newser) – Formal ballet is one of the most rigid education systems in art—dancers spend years doing exercises before they are even allowed to purchase pointe shoes. But some students are abandoning the hierarchy and turning to a less-stringent, modern master—YouTube. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at aspiring ballerinas who record their home practices and critique each other’s videos online.

The dance establishment is largely aghast at these home videos: "To be honest, I was horrified by what I saw," said the American Ballet Theatre’s executive director, citing the dangerous foot injuries that can result from improper practice. Other ballet teachers are trying to use YouTube to send out pointers for those already taking lessons, but finding it hard to draw the line with an online community determined to do it themselves.