Alice Alyse Broadway Dancer Fired for Enormous Breasts (Video, Photos)
Alice Alyse has a problem that many women would, quite literally, pay for: Her breasts are just too damned big.
Also, she’s stacked.
And that, she says, is why she’s out of a job.
Alyse claims that her generous breast size got her fired from the cast of “Movin’ Out,” the Broadway show choreographed by Twyla Tharp to songs by Billy Joel. Alyse was an ensemble dancer in the national tour until her bra size “naturally increased” from a C cup to a D, according to her lawsuit against the production company. The growth spurt happened while she was on leave last year with an injured big toe; the 29-year-old says she neither gained weight nor got implants. When she returned to the show, she needed new bras sewn into her costumes, and for this, she alleges in her 42-page complaint, she was sexually harassed, verbally abused and wrongfully dismissed.
Let’s leave aside, for the moment, questions about what other factors might have been behind Alyse’s dismissal (which we can’t really answer, because the show’s management won’t tell us its side) and whether a woman can continue to develop well past puberty. Musical theater is an entertainment outlet that routinely depicts women as sexpots, curvy dimwits and window dressing — so if you believe Alyse’s account, the hypocrisy is evident. Allegedly getting fired for the prudish-sounding sin of busting out of one’s costume is even more surprising given that Tharp’s all-dance spectacular bumps and grinds from start to finish. With Joel’s rock-and-roll framing a Vietnam-era loss-of-innocence tale, the show rides on an orgy of go-go.
But the dance world doesn’t necessarily view such firing decisions as hypocritical; they are merely business as usual. The Body Police enforce specifications that have nothing to do with the ability to perform. Some women have resorted to breast reduction to conform with the slim standards of ballet. Anastasia Volochkova, a leading ballerina at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet, made headlines two years ago over a similar issue, when she was fired for being too fat (at a reported weight of 110 pounds). She sued for damages and was unsuccessful, though she did get her job back.
“I lost my job for reasons that weren’t my dancing,” she says. “When they hired me I wasn’t flat-chested. I mean, a C means — ya got boobs.”
“It’s a virtue to have bigger breasts on Broadway, in my expert opinion,” Klayman observes one balmy evening, over dinner with Alyse at a seaside restaurant called Bongos. It certainly seems to be a virtue to have them in Miami: The city is awash in well-endowed women wearing tight-fitting tank tops and cleavage-baring camisoles.
Yet big breasts cannot truly be said to be a virtue for a dancer, unless her routine includes thigh-high boots and a pole. The Ziegfeldian hourglass shape has flattened out over time. On current stages, in the view of many directors and choreographers, a B cup might be just sexy enough, while a D may be too much. From ballet companies to Broadway, the preferred look is slender, long-stemmed and minimally jiggly. Especially when we’re talking about fitting into a group, whether a kick line or the corps de ballet.
God forbid anyone should stick out. Prevailing theater wisdom warns that an ensemble dancer must not distract, and in many shows, that means buxom chorines no longer need apply. A D cup, according to Roberta Stiehm, a musical theater veteran, could commit the major no-no of pulling focus.
“I want to stick up for this girl,” said Stiehm, a Maryland ballet and Pilates teacher who had featured roles in “Cats” and “A Chorus Line.” “But I have to tell you, what if Pamela Anderson were a great dancer? You couldn’t use her.
“You should be able to say, ‘I don’t care how big your breasts are, you should be in this show because you’re a fabulous dancer,’ ” Stiehm said. “But in reality, there is a look that has to be maintained to fit in with the whole cast.” Source
First off, while Alyce is an attractive woman, I would stop short of calling her a “bombshell,” let alone “gorgeous.” And while her breasts appear to be quite sizable, she’s not exactly Pamela Anderson. Or even Teri Hatcher.
Regardless, Rachel the Librarian feels her pain, as her own breasts grew to epic proportions in her 30s despite lack of commensurate weight gain on other parts of her body. (She provides no photographic evidence of this, so we’re forced to take her word.)
Ann Althouse provides no personal anecdotes but looks at the legal aspects of Alyse’s case. Ultimately, she concludes it’s a “good thing there are fancy lawyers willing to stick up for those who stick out.”
Blue Crab Boulevard has engaged in extensive investigative reporting on this matter, beginning in March. He has not only located a photo gallery to help readers judge Alyse’s case more closely but even a video wherein she makes her case.
Some sample photos:
Click the thumbnails for larger images.