Ballet Dancers - Body type/ physique

by Jia yan

Ballet Dancers - Body type/ physique

Hi i am a 15 years old Singaporean asian. I wish i was born a caucasian as i feel that they are usually flawless, being blessed with long limbs, pretty faces and beautiful arches& turnouts.

I have been learning ballet for 6 years or so now. I am concerned and frustrated with my own body structure. My limbs are shorter than an average person, which makes me look muscular and bulky. Because of my height, i look even bulkier and huge. Having a bigger chest and butt adds on to it all. I am thinking of quitting ballet because i feel like its impossible for me. I love dancing so much but everytime i do my best it still isnt enough. My teachers arent good help either, they treat me as if i'm invisible. All the other girls in my class are better than me and this makes me feel inferior. I have became an "introvert" in dance, im afraid to show, afraid to do anything anymore. My confidence always hit rock bottom whenever we do exercises one by one. This causes me to mess up when its my turn, and my teachers think it's just because "it's me".. When im calm and in a corner of the studio i am much better, and i know this is wrong because dancing is supposed to be a way of expressing yourself.. But i just cant!

I suck in classical as i dont look graceful at all due to my physique. Though when on pointe, i am one of the better girls as i have a good arch. But a good arch is nothing without confidence and technique. Having no attention from teachers, it's been very long since the last time i knew if i was doing the right movements, steps and such or not. I feel like i dont even deserve to call myself a ballet dancer.


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Dancers - Body type/ physique

Hello Jia yan,
Thank you for contacting me and expressing your thoughts. It's really important to let how you feel be heard to help you move forward and progress in a positive way. Even though sometimes you want to keep yourself contained, it is good to be open and honest with those closet to you so you know you have support.

It sounds like ballet is making you feel frustrated and therefore it's affecting your general confidence & self belief. Many ballet dancers doubt themselves and are very hard on not being what they want to be. It's hard not to strive for perfection, but this can often do the opposite thing and leave you feeling deflated and overwhelmed.

You obviously once loved to dance and it brought you a lot of enjoyment & happiness. You need to remember this passion and make the your main purpose for dancing. Otherwise, there's no point to continue to feel unhappy and hard on yourself. Honestly, ballet dancers never feel like they are good enough even when you reach a professional level. There is always something more to work on and it's hard to remember the enjoyment with this in mind.

I want you to take a look at my "7 Virtues of a Professional Dancer". Especially Virtue 3: Physicality
and Virtue 4:Mentality. I designed this eBooks and wrote them myself for young dancers especially in the position like yourself. When you are searching for advice to transform your approach to ballet and fulfil your dreams with guidance & support.

Find what matters to you again and keep up what gives you fulfilment and happiness.

Best wishes,

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