Unlike most typical corporate jobs, where height and other more visual aspects of a candidate are not taken into account (or if they are, it’s usually not the main factor), the world of dance and theater arts screens heavily based on these attributes. You hear countless laments from dancers of all kinds to the tune of “I flew all the way there, only to be told that I’m too tall. Why couldn’t they have seen my height, listed on my resume when I applied with my video?” or similar.
Since I mostly perform Chinese dance (although I study ballet as part of my regimen), partnering isn’t a constant reality the way it is in ballet. It doesn’t mean it’s not there – there are plenty of beautiful pas de deux in Chinese dance – but other kinds of opportunities abound.
However, the other factor of size – to create those perfectly uniform corps lines – creates more pitfalls for dancers. There was one girl in our corps who we began to call “the spinning girl” as her tall stature created a nice image of a lone, twirling figure with a slew of dancers circling her, and she was used repeatedly for this effect!
I’m 5’1″ and so far I’ve had pretty good luck in getting roles in Chinese dance as well as latin jazz and theater jazz when I was doing that more actively. Fortunately I’ve been in situations where there are men who are not too tall to partner me. And in the latter two dance forms, girls often get to wear high heels to make up the difference!