“In my graduate year, I was pulled into a 1-1 meeting with the director of the school. I was told that my body wasn’t right for ballet and that I needed to lose weight. While I was visibly distressed, they went on to question me about my diet before giving me “advice” to eat less and cut out carbohydrates. Little did they know I was already struggling with my relationship with food and struggling with my health and mental health.
I came out of that meeting feeling so upset but tried to just keep going with my training. But the negative comments were all I could think about. They created so much stress and anxiety and made me dislike what I saw in the mirror. My focus was taken away from dancing, and instead, a lot of my time and energy was wasted worrying about what I looked like in a leotard and tights.
The comments seriously damaged my confidence and self-worth which has taken a long time to rebuild from this traumatic experience. I wish I could go back and tell myself that your body shape says nothing about your ability as an artist and that the people who say otherwise are wrong.”