In our family we LOVE eating. We are by no means obese, but if we can pick between an apple and a plate of pasta, we will go with pasta every time.

For a couple of years now we have been dancing around the most annoying subject in my house – ballet bodies.  As the mother of a 13 year old, you can image the internal turmoil?! What do you say, what don’t you say, how do you approach the subject without scarring your daughter for life and causing irreparable damage to her already fragile tweenage mind?

Our resident ballerina carries a little extra in her belly, and she is aware. You don’t want to know how many tears I have wiped away because she was teased about her weight. My approach is to tell her that she is still growing – Just so you are aware, even though we dig a bowl of pasta, our eating habits are healthier than some. Twice a year she stretches and it’s like there was never anything there to begin with.

Every aspect of your body is critiqued whether you are practising, or on stage. In ballet, physical appearance is everything!!

Ballet is an art; your body is the paint brush and that stage is your canvas. The ballet body culture demands that a ballerina’s body must be lean and elegant despite various professionals demanding change. Did you know that ballet dancers are at increased risk of anorexia, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders?  These disorders can start as early as 12, because when you hit puberty, you start getting curves, you start getting breasts and that is not the ballet way. They want bean poles.

One out of two dancers suffer from an eating disorder. Let that sink in.

My approach is simple – Love every part of your body – even the bits you do not like.

 

You can read more at Eating Disorder Hope
( https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/blog/anorexia-ballet-warnings-risks )