“I clicked on this link with the intention of sharing my story with ballet and realized that 1. I would end up writing a novel and 2. I didn’t even know where to start my story. Does it start when I was 3 and loved going to class? Does it start when I was 11 and at an emotionally abusive studio, developing severe anxiety?
Does my story start at 3 months into 17 years old, when I moved away from home to go to a pre-professional school, where I hit rock bottom and somehow went lower? I don’t have the words to summarize my ballet experience, I just know that dancers deserve better. I know that even after being out of that environment for 3 years now, it’s not fair that I suffer from clinical anxiety, PTSD, a panic disorder, and body image issues.
It’s not right that I’m in therapy to piece it all back together, while the same people who did it to me in the first place are doing this to other children and adults. The worst part is, it doesn’t matter who wrote this, any one of you could have written this because my story is shared by so many in the ballet world. It’s wrong, it needs serious change, and “tradition” is NOT a good excuse to keep abusing generations of dancers. You are worthy of basic respect.”