Body image is a huge issue among dance performers. National Eating Disorders Association defines body image as “how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind.” Dance is an expressive art form and people watch your body when you perform. Dancers perform because they love what they do and want to share their passion with the audience.
Distorted Body Images
With all of this pressure of dance being a visual art form, it is normal for young women to be self-conscious about their bodies. Or young women are nervous about getting criticized for their body shape by others. Even if you are confident about your body, there is always going to be a costume that you feel does not flatter your body. But, you have to overcome your insecurities to become a successful dance performer.
Dance is a therapy for me and makes me feel comfortable with my body and love everything about myself. I always felt uncomfortable in costumes with my stomach exposed because let’s be honest here, how many girls have six pack abs? Not many.
Love Your Body
What I’ve learned is that you are not always in control of what you wear in a dance performance. It is usually up to the choreographer or costume designer to decide what the dancers will wear. Dancers fill the choreographer’s vision, the choreographers use the dancers as their canvas and the dancers have to accept the costume. The only way to accept some costumes is to love your body and be comfortable with who you
The End of Body Shaming
Body shaming is a huge issue among dancers. CNN reported that Lady Gaga was body shamed for her “belly” during her 2017 Super Bowl performance. She did not let the negative feedback get to her because she is comfortable with her body and wanted to share her art to the audience. She responded to the criticism by posting, “No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed. Be you, and be relentlessly you.” Gaga made it clear that she loves her body and others should loves their too, despite the body shaming she was receiving.
As a dance performer, you can’t please everyone and you will always get criticism about something. In order to succeed, you have to be confident with yourself. Dancing is a form of exercise, which keeps your body healthy. All you can do beyond that is try to eat a healthy by having a balanced diet, but in the end, we all have a unique body shape that you need to love.
What are you thoughts on body image and performing?