It’s nothing new, all of us dancers are aware that the way we look is just as crucial to success as our hard work and talent. In both my training and career, I have been openly judged and professionally impeded countless times by my height, weight (both spectrums), body proportion, posterior size, hair length and overall appearance.
Then of course, there’s the influence of social media on top of it all. For women, being slim isn’t enough anymore, you also have to be muscular and toned (not bulky) but still have womanly curves and boobs, have a peachy bum but a tiny waist with just the right ab definition. Don’t get me wrong, this body type is glorious to look at but unless you are genetically blessed, it’s pretty unattainable.
A massive part of being a dancer is to maintain a fit and healthy body and that looks different for each and every person. We all know this deep down, yet I know that most of us suffer silently and blame ourselves for not fitting into whatever mould the dance industry or society expects from us.
Not only are we self-critical, we can become overly critical of others without even realising. Unconscious female bias is something all women have. We can’t help but make lightening quick judgements about other females and compare ourselves immediately. Even a good feminist does it! We judge women much more harshly than men and it’s very hard to ignore your instincts and form an unbiased opinion. Admitting it is the first step to breaking the pattern.
So, turns out it’s pretty bloody hard to be a confident, self-assured, sister loving feminist in the dancer world - but it is possible to try your hardest at it!!
We have enough people telling us we’re not good enough as it is - we needn’t add ourselves or our fellow dancers to that list. Be kind to yourself and to others, because we are all battling with our own insecurities and the only way to win, is to accept ourselves and each other exactly the way we are.
Is this where I quote RuPaul? You get the idea! #loveyourself