“I recently realized that I am insecure about my partner leaving me for a younger woman because of my experiences in classical ballet training. All of those years of hearing that your career is basically over in your thirties, along with watching “older” dancers who were in their late twenties be replaced by younger dancers really got to me more than I thought it did.
Watching young, up-and-coming dancers (and having been one myself) push themselves to the brink, doing everything possible, right down to wearing specific make-up/attire, to be noticed by directors for their beauty, seriously impacted me. Even more than beauty, there was always a strange, sexual undertone to it all that I really didn’t notice until I left dance, but that now rears its ugly head in my relationship.
Now I am 25 and worry that I am expiring and that everything “valuable” about me, namely, surface-level beauty and physical sexual appeal, will disappear. When I can control my emotions I know I have value beyond physical appearance, but deep down I still fear that my clock is ticking fast and that the time for me to be replaced is rapidly approaching.
It’s funny because I quit ballet when I was 19 and have since found other interests and pursued an entirely different career. But that mentality still impacts me more than I want it to. No matter how much logic I put into it, it’s nearly impossible for me to fully let go of the idea that some new young “talent” is coming to threaten everything I’ve built for myself. It’s embarrassing but more than that it’s sad to know that ballet still controls me in very fundamental ways.”