Two weeks ago, Michelle Ward asked “What do you wanna erase?”
I’ve given this a lot of thought. And here’s my answer:
If I could erase one thing from my life, it would be the idea that my body needed to be a certain size or shape in order to “be a dancer.” It would be the feeling of shame, anger, and sorrow when the audition judges told me, “That was the best audition piece we’ve seen…but if you want to come to this school, you’ll have to lose some weight.” And I’d probably chuck out the years of fall-out from that experience for good measure.
Going through life without being told (essentially) “Your passion and talent are insignificant in the face of your inability to maintain a body weight which meets our standards” would have been pretty effing sweet.
And, regardless of whether I became a professional dancer or not, I would have had a lot more room for creativity and passion in my life if I hadn’t been constantly hating my own body and thinking things like “If I get up to a size 12, I may as well kill myself.” (Yes, I actually thought that. And that makes me sad.)
My body was never meant to look like what our society as termed “a dancer’s body,” but it was strong and flexible, and my dancing has moved more than one person to tears. And it made my husband fall in love with me. For real. That’s what’s important.That’s what really counts.
What if you could be happy with your body right now, as is? What if you could be a dancer at any size? What if you could put on some music and move and just be happy in the skin you’re in?
Pssst…you totally can. Because size is just a number, no matter what the ballet teachers say.