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Dancing, training and issues with body image, resilience, etc.


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2 hours ago, Fiz said:

Kathryn Morgan has just released a video on YouTube about why she left Miami City Ballet. She was treated horribly by them and her mental and physical health began to suffer badly. It applies directly to this topic. 

 It's a  hard watch but  very  relevant 

unfortunately while the behaviours and focuses may be different it is behaviour all to common in other settings as well  

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6 hours ago, NJH said:

 It's a  hard watch but  very  relevant 

unfortunately while the behaviours and focuses may be different it is behaviour all to common in other settings as well  

My daughter had mental health issues after a very difficult graduate year at a uk prestigious ballet school. She needed considerable mental health treatment from psychiatric doctors and therapy. This treatment at the school and associated company required a lot of rebuilding of her confidence and belief in a future. She’s not the only one - and she’s a very confident and articulate young woman. But even she was shattered. This was despite my constant requests for help ( in person and email) for her from the school AD  He and teachers made the assumption that he believed she was ok as she appeared “stoic” and “coping “. My daughter knew that if she collapsed in a heap and let her emotions out in class she would be told to act professionally and learn resilience. It would be held against her. If this was a normal school ignoring mental health issues and openly commenting in a class situation regarding a students emotional state - the institution would be in serious trouble. Parents need to look at the situation as a service and a school environment- if you are unhappy with the service you are paying for call that school management to account ! If it says school over the front door your child deserves to get all the usual protections dictated by law. 

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The problem with this approach is the focus upon catching and measuring symptoms. The ‘symptoms’ are a sign of something much bigger that requires treatment and no doubt systemic changes within schools/companies if there is to be any hope of long term change. Additionally, students would need to feel safe to ‘self disclose’ and there would also need to be treatment available which would include psychologists/psychotherapists with experience of working with ED’s and other associated difficulties rather than just safeguarding and a measuring system which no doubt is exacerbating the problem. If you talk to or work with patients with ED’s it becomes apparent just how much headspace regular weighing takes up. It is not as simple as ‘making it quick and low key’.  No doubt the knowledge of impending mass weight checks triggers a whole host of compensatory behaviours within a competitive school system which then also has the potential to trigger those whom eating ‘distress’ was not a concern initially. 
It is very true that often young dancers with eating issues are often favoured, featured in photos etc. In terms of modelling to a group of young students, perhaps this is something that schools could consider-what messages does staff/management behaviour towards dancers with eating disorders communicate to other students/professionals. For example, if someone who is known to be suffering from an eating disorder is used as a regular poster dancer for the organisation, what does this communicate to other dancers? I am not saying we should discriminate against those with mental health conditions but perhaps we should consider whether certain practices discriminate against those without eating disorders. We need to change the system to help dancers long term and develop more effective ways that the system can be accepting and supportive of those experiencing mental health difficulties.

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Gosh it does sound as though life is still very hard in the dance world. I truly believe that the only way that this will change is if people speak out. Gymnasts across the world are starting to talk about body shaming, emotional abuse etc and change is happening as a result.

 

It can be done completely anonymously and if anyone is interested in doing so please PM me in the strictest of confidence. No identities need to be mentioned at all but a group of people (including myself) are working to lobby government to make reporting this kind of abuse easier for students. The problem we face is that government does not recognize the extent of the issue because no one speaks out about it..... 
Please do contact me or follow us on Twitter @law4dance 

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On 09/10/2020 at 08:07, NJH said:

 It's a  hard watch but  very  relevant 

unfortunately while the behaviours and focuses may be different it is behaviour all to common in other settings as well  

 

It is so disappointing that MCB did not make this work!   She has a massive following that they could have leveraged to attract a greater audience. 

 

Misty Copeland has star power that brings people in, despite complaints around her technique by serious ballet fans.  It is good cash business for ABT.  

 

Ballet desperately needed a shot of body diversity.  You know, US size 2!

I don't know if many of the Artistic Directors out there have the leadership and management skills this industry needs.

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In the video, Kathryn actually said that MCB appeared to want her followers rather than her. They even suggested that her name should stay on the MCB roster even if she left. So horribly manipulative. Poor Kathryn. 

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Can I suggest that this thread name ought to be changed? The content has moved significantly - & very interestingly - away & beyond the original posting & the current title may limit those reading it & possibly it’s now not relevant title as it mentions one school 

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I've been thinking that for a while, Peanut, and indeed had been going to split much of the discussion off into a separate thread, but couldn't spot an obvious place to do it.

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  • alison changed the title to Dancing, training and issues with body image, resilience, etc.
On 23/09/2020 at 02:20, DD Driver said:

Inspiring words from Steven McRae on his Instagram.  He talks about  how some people comment that they liked his body 5 years ago when he was skinnier and less fit!  Living his life in a 'calorie deficit'

 

 

 

Different take for me.

He sounded extremely defensive and overly sensitive to questions/comments that related to his changing physique in a classical ballet context. 

Nobody was body shaming him, but I too have thought about the extent of his musculature in relation to Ballet. Not about him being smaller or thinner but that his muscles aren't long and strong. He does to me look more like a body builder than a ballet dancer. 

How I feel about the aesthetics of his body bears no reflection on his dancing. 

He puts himself out there all over social media never wearing a top in any of his images; he invites us on his recovery journey with him but only in a very controlled way. My opinion. 

Edited by Motomum
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On 05/08/2020 at 02:21, Farawaydancer said:


As someone whose ds has been on the end of this particular torture, expecting someone to fix something but not being told what the something is, is extremely difficult for an 11/12yr old!! They’re at school to be taught, ballet isn’t a voyage of self-discovery.  You can’t self-correct if you don’t know what you’re aiming for.  And in this particular context, not being given corrections was definitely used by the teacher as a way of bullying and excluding. 

This ^^^^ is most definitely a 'thing' which might be acceptable in upper school training and beyond, but for me it has no place as a teaching approach in children younger than this. 

 

There is a difference also as a teacher in supporting a child to find their own internal teacher by breaking this concept down from an abstract into a more concrete form of self monitoring. 

A good teacher would be able to do this. Without clarification for the child it is my opinion either a very lazy way of teacher or an I know and you don't type of approach which often ime creates uncertainty and worry in younger children. 

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On 09/10/2020 at 23:17, DD Driver said:

 

It is so disappointing that MCB did not make this work!   She has a massive following that they could have leveraged to attract a greater audience. 

 

Misty Copeland has star power that brings people in, despite complaints around her technique by serious ballet fans.  It is good cash business for ABT.  

 

Ballet desperately needed a shot of body diversity.  You know, US size 2!

I don't know if many of the Artistic Directors out there have the leadership and management skills this industry needs.

KM was very kind and magnanimous in her account of what happened at MCB. 

They treated her appallingly as soon as they realised she wasn't going to shape up 'thin,' so this is happening now, no changes, no learning, just words and soundbites from certain companies. Words that mean absolutely nothing without actions. 

 

Recently a vocational ballet teacher said to me, boys in training can eat anything, girls can't. 

 

I will say though that watching the RB gala last night it was refreshing to see many of the leading female dancers looking very beautiful indeed, whilst also looking strong and healthy in their bodies. So perhaps there is possibility of change. 

The images of these beautiful strong talented woman will hopefully feed down to young aspiring dancers to let them know that images are changing. 

These are the kind of images that will hopefully improve emotional well-being and have the power to build resilience in young minds. 

 

They are also conversation starters for us to have with our children about what it might take to challenge the old ways of thinking, and what is happening on their training journeys good and bad. 

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2 hours ago, Motomum said:

<snip>

He puts himself out there all over social media never wearing a top in any of his images; he invites us on his recovery journey with him but only in a very controlled way. My opinion. 

generally  people's  social media presence  regardless of whether they are  someone who  considers themselves a 'nobody' , whether they are someone with a small but steady  following ( many of whom are mutuals )  , or  whether they are someone  with an international platform  and  hundreds of thousands of followers   , is carefully curated ... 

to the point  where some  people lock their 'person' facebook right down and maintain a  'business' page to  talk aobut their public facing  stuff ...  

 

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On 06/10/2020 at 09:16, Nama said:

Totally agree. We’ve all experienced it. In auditions kids get cut and sent out after the first exercise on the barre. That is certainly a size issue. Also the size maximum listed on coy audition criteria. That’s ok - we all know what they want. But be honest - don’t waste people’s money and time and the damage done to the candidates confidence who are rejected and don’t know why. The kids watch the candidates and know who is a better dancer. They see the technical faults and know that size is a key factor. Many of the students in my daughters graduate class were constantly injured and unwell. They had no stamina and fitness. That’s why the healthy strong kids danced more filling in endlessly for the favoured student as they were too ill to dance. Vulnerable to damaged legs and to diseases. Just too unhealthy to maintain the demands of daily dancing. It’s ironic that seeing those same super skinny weak dancers have bulked up to almost normal levels when in coys and the daily requirements have necessitated healthy habits in regards to food. So why chose the skinny weak ones then require them to eat properly and get muscle tone when they’ve got the job in the coys. This is particularly evident in the famous coys 

For getting cut after the first exercises: I disagree! The first exercises reveal a lot about clean technique. If this is not there, some auditioners send these people out and I can understand this!

 

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On 09/10/2020 at 23:17, DD Driver said:

I don't know if many of the Artistic Directors out there have the leadership and management skills this industry needs.

I think this point is quite relevant, and that goes to Artistic Directors of schools too, not just companies.

 

Firstly school directors will point at what they believe company directors want ,as their excuse, to make internal selections of adolescent changing bodies to weed out pupils based on false aesthetic notions , regardless of all those other attributes required of a dancer other than their shape or height / weight ratio: technique, artistic qualities in interpretation, musicality , resilience, patience,strength, ability to learn and memorise choreography, team participation, the list goes on....   But if the AD's of companies are more willing to look at diversity and communicate that to the schools, then we will have progress. If the AD's of companies say send us your best dancers, not your lookalikes, then the pressure will be reduced at the bottom to conform to stick- insect like figures.

 

I would also add that IMO it is child abuse and a form of discrimination to weed out children based on weight, because adolscents are particularly suscentiple to great variation. 

 

I have yet to see a review of any company that heaps praise on a company not for its performance, the technique, artistry, choreography, costumes, music, but rather picks out specifically  the skinniness of its dancers as a plus point. I do not see a single contributor to the ballet news and performance forum that ever mentions that they preferred one dancer or another because of their light weight and only buys tickets to see them. So if we the public do not choose  to buy tickets and supports companies on that basis, why do AD'S  insist on this as a necessary characteristic .

 

Of course , if any knowledgeable person on these pages can show me scientific evidence of  why a BMI of 14 or less is advantageous, or a review that does praise the superskinny dancerand thought it lent some artistic or technical benefit, then I would gladly be corrected.

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27 minutes ago, Lusodancer said:

 

Of course , if any knowledgeable person on these pages can show me scientific evidence of  why a BMI of 14 or less is advantageous, or a review that does praise the superskinny dancerand thought it lent some artistic or technical benefit, then I would gladly be corrected.

 

The two companies I follow (Northern Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet) have very diverse groups of dancers and that is what I particularly like about them.  

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On 08/08/2020 at 23:19, Thecatsmother said:

Teaching resilience is important but certain basic things need to be in place in order to be able to reach this point. If a dancer feels threatened or is unable to trust the system (understandably in many cases) then I very much doubt they would ever get near looking a issues such as resilience. When anyone is in a great state of fear as a result of a systemic dynamics or past experiences then it is clear in the hierarchy of emotions that fear will top anything else as a young person is trying to keep themselves physically and emotionally protected.   
 

The problem is that this really needs to be addressed at a systemic level amongst staff in schools as so many teachers are actually re-enacting what was done to them even if on an unconscious level. Perhaps if we could start to help the teachers, directors etc to heal emotionally then they can be in a better place to hep dancers. There is a culture of ‘we had if much tougher than you’ that still exists and reinforces the problem. 
 

 

 

Agree. Often there is a carry forward from past experiences of the teachers. I think that given the experience of my daughter and what has been said to me - the RAD or the schools inspectorate needs to step in. They need to oversea a training and registration system that teaches the teachers what is the acceptable communication and mental health protection strategies that are required in a modern system. In an instance we saw the teacher was suspended after a confrontation with a student - disgracefully in a parent viewing day. The Mum called him out about humiliation to her student in an open class. Parents obviously complained and teacher was suspended for a week. That’s not good enough for all concerned - the teacher needs help to re-train. It was very brave of the mum. The teachers - from my experience and we pointed out the damaging impact of language to students and also actions. If an AD steps in to a rehearsal and openly removed students from roles in rehearsals. That’s damaging. We requested a side conversation to limit damage. We demanded changes to the way students are spoken to and the mental health consequence. We are still fighting for better mental health and communication in ballet schools. 

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16 hours ago, Lusodancer said:

I think this point is quite relevant, and that goes to Artistic Directors of schools too, not just companies.

 

Firstly school directors will point at what they believe company directors want ,as their excuse, to make internal selections of adolescent changing bodies to weed out pupils based on false aesthetic notions , regardless of all those other attributes required of a dancer other than their shape or height / weight ratio: technique, artistic qualities in interpretation, musicality , resilience, patience,strength, ability to learn and memorise choreography, team participation, the list goes on....   But if the AD's of companies are more willing to look at diversity and communicate that to the schools, then we will have progress. If the AD's of companies say send us your best dancers, not your lookalikes, then the pressure will be reduced at the bottom to conform to stick- insect like figures.

 

I would also add that IMO it is child abuse and a form of discrimination to weed out children based on weight, because adolscents are particularly suscentiple to great variation. 

 

I have yet to see a review of any company that heaps praise on a company not for its performance, the technique, artistry, choreography, costumes, music, but rather picks out specifically  the skinniness of its dancers as a plus point. I do not see a single contributor to the ballet news and performance forum that ever mentions that they preferred one dancer or another because of their light weight and only buys tickets to see them. So if we the public do not choose  to buy tickets and supports companies on that basis, why do AD'S  insist on this as a necessary characteristic .

 

Of course , if any knowledgeable person on these pages can show me scientific evidence of  why a BMI of 14 or less is advantageous, or a review that does praise the superskinny dancerand thought it lent some artistic or technical benefit, then I would gladly be corrected.

You raise interesting points. 

 

I notice in the Kathryn Morgan video that the AD used a minor elbow injury in her PDD partner to stop her performing and yet when she asked to swap to another male partner it was still a NO from the AD. 

 

Challenging the exisint images of particularly female dancers will be an immense task as it seems to me that the culture of thin is so deeply engrained in the system; where would do you start first? 

 

I don't know the answer but I remember looking at what young girls were eating when I was a chaperone for EYB and thinking how will they ever have the energy to get through four shows of ballet. 

 

For many of those young girls what I saw and heard was how they looked was way more important than food. 

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Some audience members etc do highly favour that aesthetic. Maybe not in so many words (although there are many comments on social media which are quite open in doing so). Personally I don’t, and it makes me quite uncomfortable to watch extremely slender dancers. Many people will say it’s their natural body type but I don’t agree that a BMI below 14 or 15  for somebody exercising intensely every day is healthy for anyone. It doesn’t mean they have an eating disorder but I sincerely doubt they are taking enough nutrients to remain in peak health. Surely they can’t be menstruating normally which is a red flag if linked purely to low

body weight. Nobody wants to body shame those with a small frame but there does have to be some point at which concerns are raised, I think BMI of 15 is the trigger point for hospital treatment in anorexics. 

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12 minutes ago, Peony said:

Some audience members etc do highly favour that aesthetic. Maybe not in so many words (although there are many comments on social media which are quite open in doing so). Personally I don’t, and it makes me quite uncomfortable to watch extremely slender dancers. Many people will say it’s their natural body type but I don’t agree that a BMI below 14 or 15  for somebody exercising intensely every day is healthy for anyone. It doesn’t mean they have an eating disorder but I sincerely doubt they are taking enough nutrients to remain in peak health. Surely they can’t be menstruating normally which is a red flag if linked purely to low

body weight. Nobody wants to body shame those with a small frame but there does have to be some point at which concerns are raised, I think BMI of 15 is the trigger point for hospital treatment in anorexics. 

 

Definitely, if they look too thin I find it very offputting personally.  I prefer to see dancers who look healthy and ideally like adults not children.   Dancers are often small built and delicately framed but there's a difference between slender and healthy and under nourished and if you're in the stalls it's not difficult to see the difference.  

 

That said I agree with Peony about body shaming, so I would not comment on social media on the body types or physiques of individual dancers.  I stick to praising their abilities.  

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14 hours ago, Tango Dancer said:

Definitely, if they look too thin I find it very offputting personally.  I prefer to see dancers who look healthy and ideally like adults not children.   Dancers are often small built and delicately framed but there's a difference between slender and healthy and under nourished and if you're in the stalls it's not difficult to see the difference.  

 

I much prefer to see an athletic form than an undernourished one.

But IMO real dancers reflect society and will come with all sorts of shapes and sizes, because dancing is a gift that is not solely given to the slender only.

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1 hour ago, Peony said:

The proportions and musculature etc will differ, but I think most people doing 30,40 or more hours of ballet a week would be fairly slender! 

 

Yes I think so.  Professional ballet burns a lot of calories and leads to a certain type of physique although obviously proportions, height etc may vary.  I mean since I started doing ballet 3x per week I've definitely noticed my muscle formation changing and I've lost half a stone in weight and that's just a general level amateur class which I do badly but with enthusiasm. Professionals doing exponentially more ballet will be thinner.   

 

If you look at other dance forms you may see different body sizes and shapes.  I do bellydance for example and there is a lot wider range of sized and shaped dancers on the pro-am scene and certain muscles (for example the abdominal ones) are much more developed as a result of the type of isolations you do.  

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5 hours ago, Peony said:

The proportions and musculature etc will differ, but I think most people doing 30,40 or more hours of ballet a week would be fairly slender! 


See Steven McRea’s recent rant about people complaining he’s built up muscle while recuperating: basically that while dancing a full schedule he couldn’t get enough calories in to build up muscle.

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7 hours ago, Peony said:

The proportions and musculature etc will differ, but I think most people doing 30,40 or more hours of ballet a week would be fairly slender! 

Well it may be that the figures of professional dancers will be very different from their adolescent pre-professional ones, and that is my point.

The AD's of schools have no business to decide the ultimate path of an individual based upon the figure of a child in 16- 20 hours of classes, when there are so many other factors that govern their future. Why should a strong singer with an exuberant personality be pushed into MT for the West End, if her desire is to control those characteristics and dedicate herself to La Fille Mal Guardee? Why should a tall leggy girl be pushed to jazz for cruise ship entertainment, when she wants to be Scheherazade ? Why should athletic dancers be recomended into contemporary companies ? Why should a slender, petit dancer be pushed into Giselle, when she wants to rock the house as the next Arianna Grand or out J Lo J Lo?

There are so many other factors that must be considered other than fitting dancers to roles by shape or size, and letting schools decide with no consultation with the dance student themselves, just those divisive techniques of weighings,costume fittings, low marks at assessment. These are the cowards way out for many, IMO, instead of sitting down with the child and parents and planning a future with achievable goals and aims. No, there's plenty of fish in the sea, plenty of associates on the schemes dying to get in, so we lose a few, hey ho...... is the prevaling attitude.

There are good companies now who search for strong dancers  with diversity, thank goodness, but some of the school are behind the times, and that's the worry.  

I remember having a conversation with a classical teacher in a vocational school about the souless dry curriculum with little chance of artistic presentation and lack of stage preparation for the big occasion, and the stupidity of the marking system based upon aesthetic qualities and not the quality of technique and dancing, which penalised many keen dancers from 13-15 years, dancers who had the potential to be very good teachers, choreographers,if not dancers. She agreed wholeheartedly with everything I said, but then failed those dancers when she failed to defend them in the final marking process of the intermediate stage as part of the panel, and allowed the 'system ' to make the cull, two based upon shape. I am pleased to report that at least three of said culled pack are on scholarships and at the top of their sets in other institutions and have had job offers already, though they have yet to finish senior school, proving the point that early selection based on physical qualities can so often be wrong, where the will is stronger.

I am sure there are many others on this forum who have witnessed the same in other institutions.

 

So how can we move forward. Well let's not always criticise institutions, because they only then close ranks. Let's instead reward and credit institutions that show good working practises. Go out of our way to show that we notice. Publically ...letters to the company directors, the Board of Trustees, the Arts Council, the Lottery Fund, the Times and such like, social media. television and radio stations.   

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On 11/10/2020 at 19:39, Motomum said:

Different take for me.

He sounded extremely defensive and overly sensitive to questions/comments that related to his changing physique in a classical ballet context. 

Nobody was body shaming him, but I too have thought about the extent of his musculature in relation to Ballet. Not about him being smaller or thinner but that his muscles aren't long and strong. He does to me look more like a body builder than a ballet dancer. 

How I feel about the aesthetics of his body bears no reflection on his dancing. 

He puts himself out there all over social media never wearing a top in any of his images; he invites us on his recovery journey with him but only in a very controlled way. My opinion. 

 

I'm sorry but this makes me very uncomfortable... Not meaning to attack you or your comment but I feel like if we reverse the genders here, these are the kind of comments that perpetuate the dangerous views we're discussing in this thread. If I said "I have thought about her body shape in relation to ballet, it's not that she's too big I just don't think her muscles look long and lean. She doesn't have the body of a ballet dancer. She puts herself out there in a leotard, she's inviting these comments". That's obviously not what you said, I'm taking it a bit further to try and make the point, and I am definitely not trying to offend. I appreciate that you say the way he looks bears no reflection on his dancing, as obviously he is one of the dancers of his generation. 

 

Yes Steven is showcasing his journey in a controlled way. I don't think anyone on social media acts any differently. I also think this is probably a very personal journey for him that possibly took a lot of courage to share. Pressure to look a certain way, from ADs and from social media, also impacts boys and young men and I just think we need to be very careful about the language we use when discussing anyone's body, whether it's musculature or body fat percentage. If Steven is defensive or sensitive to comments about his changing physique, I think we need to respect that. Ballet dancers are asked to operate in a world that makes subjective, often arbitrary decisions about body, and where a dancers career can live and die on the shape of their bodies - see some of the other MCB dancers who have recently come out on instagram stating they were fired because of the shape of their legs!

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I discussed this recently with my son who is a professional ballet dancer.  Not at Mr Macrae's level but ..

 

He also posts a selection of ballet pictures and other action/exercise based shot to his Instagram. He gets up to 3 times as many views for ballet shots as others. We always joke that we never see him with his clothes on.  But for him it's the difference between being able to survive and beginning to live and feed himself well. One company who now employ him to run their social media account.  Nutritional supplements, shoes, clothing are offered and he has only a comparatively few followers .   

 

The other point he made was that many dancers will change body shape as they get older - the roles they are given, the injuries they receive and how they modify their dancing to accommodate these weaknesses and skills learnt during recovery will affect their body shape.  The analogy he made was with footballers, who may move from playing wide to playing centre as they get older.  Back to ballet dancing, they may loose some of their raw power or height of jump, but PDD work, for example, may be much improved.  

 

No-one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of the shape of their bodies, as a plus size woman I am very aware of this.  I just wanted to present the views of someone who uses social media in a professional ballet context.  My son was always the tiny, skinny one who was assessed out for lack of core stability.  I think there is a genuine pride in having developed, through sheer hard work, to the point where he is actively chosen as a strong dancer who is not ashamed to say "this is me."

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5 hours ago, Viv said:

 

I'm sorry but this makes me very uncomfortable... Not meaning to attack you or your comment but I feel like if we reverse the genders here, these are the kind of comments that perpetuate the dangerous views we're discussing in this thread. If I said "I have thought about her body shape in relation to ballet, it's not that she's too big I just don't think her muscles look long and lean. She doesn't have the body of a ballet dancer. She puts herself out there in a leotard, she's inviting these comments". That's obviously not what you said, I'm taking it a bit further to try and make the point, and I am definitely not trying to offend. I appreciate that you say the way he looks bears no reflection on his dancing, as obviously he is one of the dancers of his generation. 

 

Yes Steven is showcasing his journey in a controlled way. I don't think anyone on social media acts any differently. I also think this is probably a very personal journey for him that possibly took a lot of courage to share. Pressure to look a certain way, from ADs and from social media, also impacts boys and young men and I just think we need to be very careful about the language we use when discussing anyone's body, whether it's musculature or body fat percentage. If Steven is defensive or sensitive to comments about his changing physique, I think we need to respect that. Ballet dancers are asked to operate in a world that makes subjective, often arbitrary decisions about body, and where a dancers career can live and die on the shape of their bodies - see some of the other MCB dancers who have recently come out on instagram stating they were fired because of the shape of their legs!

You have taken what I have written completely out of context and jarringly so. 

You also make assumptions about me based on things I haven't even written in my post. 

 

Please be careful reversing the genders here it is completely skewing what I have written. Completely. I would have the same reaction to a woman ballet dancer with large muscles. 

 

 

Muscalature and body fat are not at all the same thing they are the complete opposite. Your implication is just a bit odd. 

 

A person can still be large with long lean muscles. 

 

 

Actual body SIZE makes absolutely no difference to me at all. aesthetically however for me in classical ballet, long leaner muscle lines matter, otherwise what is classical ballet all about if not the beautiful line? Regardless of size. 

 

Peoples social media is just that, a social platform that invites opinion positive or negative, neutral or otherwise. 

 

 

 

 

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On 13/10/2020 at 21:28, Peony said:

Personally I don’t, and it makes me quite uncomfortable to watch extremely slender dancers. Many people will say it’s their natural body type but I don’t agree that a [very low BMI]  for somebody exercising intensely every day is healthy for anyone. It doesn’t mean they have an eating disorder but I sincerely doubt they are taking enough nutrients to remain in peak health. Surely they can’t be menstruating normally which is a red flag if linked purely to low body weight. Nobody wants to body shame those with a small frame but there does have to be some point at which concerns are raised, I think BMI of [xx] is the trigger point for hospital treatment in anorexics. 

 

I completely agree with everything you've said. All bodies have a different set point weight, the majority of which lie between a BMI (highly flawed measure!) of 20 and 30/35. Many dancers' may indeed be lower for them to be able to sustain that level of activity at that weight, and as you say, no body shaming smaller bodies either, but like you I suspect that very few bodies have a set point weight of extremely low BMI. Many people end up in hospital with anorexia at a much higher BMI than the number you stated too.

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