“First off, thank you for making this platform exist, you’re so amazing for that. Okay, where do I begin? Ballet is my whole life, and I think sometimes we can get really jaded and put on “rose colored glasses” to all the pain ballet causes us dancers, because there is also so much good that comes from it!
It was a really big culture shock for me, personally, when I was having dinner with my boyfriend and his parents. Upon only putting salad, without dressing, on my plate, he asked me if I wanted anything else, because granted, it wasn’t a lot of food at all. I reassured him about a million times that that was all I wanted.
The culture shock came when his parents asked me the same question, and I made the mistake of adding a “I have a show this weekend” joke at the end of my reassuring comment. I could tell right away that something about that cheeky little comment didn’t sit well with my boyfriend, and right after dinner he pulled me aside and gave me the best advice I’ve ever heard:
“You’re a human, too, you know? Dancers aren’t robots, they aren’t another breed, they’re also human.”
He went on to say that he always knew dancers had “issues” with food, but something about seeing it in real life really shook him.
To this day, he says it nauseates him to remember how casually I said that, even if I was only half joking.
Dancers out there,
YOU. ARE. HUMAN. TOO.
Humans need food and love and energy and rest, and you are more than a role, then a show, then a costume size, then a contract, then anything! You are so talented and beautiful inside and out. Don’t let the adrenaline rush of performing, the bright lights, the shimmery tutus, and all of the good that comes from ballet cloud your perception of what self care and self love is, alright? I love you.”