2 years ago5,000+ Views
As a dancer, and a dance teacher, I've seen a lot of girls, boys, men, and women wrestle with insecurity and eating disorders. It's never worth it. I wish it were an easier business, honestly. I hate watching that struggle.
In fact, there is an entire industry built upon marketing to dancers trying to maintain their bodies. And, man, can it go overboard.
Don't get me wrong. Dance is a Great tool for fitness. My partner and I even teach two classes involving "dancing for fitness" for adults on the weekends.
So many times, though, I've had moms bringing boys and girls into my starter class, some as young as 3 YEARS OLD, stating that their children "need to lose weight". I've heard moms call daughters names like "lard ass" and "piggy". *blinking* Seriously. Every time this happens, I wonder what impact are we making on our kids. I do make an effort to tactfully speak with the parents I've seen doing this to their children in my studio. If I am to mentor their children, we must work together. It's hard to undo that damage, though. Very hard.
This is Blythe Baird. She was such a kid, damaged by society's expectations and the pressure of trying to look "perfect". When I heard her story, everything crashed down on me, thinking about my students, colleagues, and friends.
This is her poem, "When the Fat Girl Gets Skinny". Have a listen, take the look.
We, as parents, sisters, brothers, and friends HAVE to change the way we deal with weight control and eating disorders, no matter which walk of life we're following. I constantly wonder why more people can't seem to realize that the way we treat each other can destroy lives? We have the power to save each other or we can destroy a life at the ultimate level, even resulting in death. Bullying is huge problem these days - and Not just for kids. Too many adults bully one another and bully their kids. (Yes, there is definitely a difference between discipline and bullying!!)
This is not purely a "dance" problem. How do we stop it? How do we reach a new generation before it gets caught in the same traps that we did?
I'd love to hear your opinions on this - no matter who you are or which path you're walking in life. ^.^ *The only photo I own is the one of my partner and I. The rest are not mine.*
View more comments
Very powerful video. So much passionate raw truth can come from someones joumey thru pain. Thanks for sharing. I also read a long time ago that they did a study and it takes 9 positive affirming statements to someone to override just 1 negative comment made to them. That truly says a lot. Thanks for sharing!
2 years ago·Reply
@2Distracted I've heard that, too. I think about it a lot, especially while interacting with my son and students. I've learned that if you keep that in mind, it's easier to start being nicer in every word that you say. Once one starts, it's easy to make it a habit... But you have to start.
2 years ago·Reply
@ButterflyBlu My best friend thinks that way and her students as well as yours are so very fortunate to have wise teachers. I've learned a lot since we've been friends. The dance world truly seems to have its own culture within some of the dancers but when you are dancing and competing that's your 2nd home.
2 years ago·Reply
@2Distracted It's true. I feel like those kids are my kids, my adult students and fellow teachers are family. We just took a small weekend trip this past weekend for competition and it's part of why I love this life. Even when we see people from other states/schools, it's like seeing family that you've missed. (MOST of them. Some are the family that you love to avoid. Lol) Thank you for calling me wise and my students fortunate. It means a lot to me! <3
2 years ago·Reply
@ButterflyBlu That's exactly what she says regarding competition trips(I have the role of permanent competition house sitter and sub kitty lover) but you also have to have thick skin to a certain degree understanding teens are well.... dramatic teens at times and esp when a student you've taught for years goes off to college or elsewhere. I don't envy that part cuz of how much you invest into these dancers that's gotta be brutal to the heart. I've supported her thru that a few times. I appreciate all the hard work you do!!!!
2 years ago·Reply