Your body is your super power & makes up who you are. You are unique & you need to use the body you've been given to your advantage. We all have insecurities & areas we wish we could change however there is a lot of power in embracing who you are & everything you've been given. Every factor about your body makes up who you are. Remember that your body is an incredible instrument, with so many functions and abilities - it’s not an ornament that only looks great in a particular setting.
The world has created a stigma that can lead us to believe that we need to fit a certain mold to achieve something. I want you all to remember that there is no “set body” we have to aspire to, and to focus on what you do have and be grateful for this. Our bodies are such amazing machines, they are what makes us individually perfect, allowing us to stand out in different ways. Imagine how boring it would be if we all had the same qualities!
Every company and school will have a different repertoire & curriculum that may be better suited to a certain physique, for various reasons. This career is not about fitting into a box that was not made for you. Some companies need certain bodies for repertoires that require a lot of jumps, pas de deux & strength. Other companies need bodies more suited to adage & slower lyrical repertoires. Each of those requirements need different types of bodies & yours will fit a criteria- you just need to find the place that appreciates your body for who you are.
It's important to remember that we should strive to become the best version of ourselves in the process of training & performing- don't focus on trying to have a body that wouldn't make you, YOU. Find the school/company that appreciates you and where we can thrive and grow!
Worrying about your body is time wasted you could have spent in the studio improving your technique and artistry, figuring out a way to use your individual body to the best of its ability.
You cannot prevent people from having an opinion about what your body should look like, but you can choose not to let them get in your way. Likewise, avoid comparing yourself to others, or even to your younger self. As we age, our bodies mature and evolve - you will eventually grow curves you previously didn’t have, as your body adapts to what it is meant to do. Remember, you are a girl and woman just as much as you are a dancer! There is a life beyond the ballet studio - no title, role or job is worth sacrificing your physical or mental health for.
Embrace every single part of yourself, the things you are proud of as well as your insecurities, because they are what makes you so uniquely you! Remember: To be beautiful means to be yourself. You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticise yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care!
Your words have so much power. If you have been criticising your younger self for years, try complimenting yourself. Everyday, tell yourself how amazing your body is and how grateful you are for the life it allows you to lead. Even giving yourself only one word of validation every day will change your entire mindset and attitude towards yourself! You wouldn’t put down or talk negatively to your friends or loved ones, so why be so hard on yourself? You need to be your greatest supporter and you owe it to yourself to treat your body and mind with kindness and compassion, so you can achieve all you want in life!
Body positivity is as simple as making the choice to love yourself despite your shortcomings - to embrace your whole self and not let others dictate how you feel about your body.
Dancers I want you to give this a try: remind yourself of how worthy and amazing you are, every single day, at least once a day. You can say it in your head, whisper it under your breath, or yell it into the universe, but I want you to commit to making your body and mind the most beautiful place to live in. You’ve only got one!