Real bodies for real ballerinas

I saw this lovely graphic on pinterest, of the ballet positions of the body, drawn with a ‘curvy’ ballerina. (The fact she has red curly hair is just a bonus right? ;-D)

Daniel Stolle

It makes this one, the classic one you see everywhere, look a tiny bit prissy.

As a teacher, it’s hard to explain to a new dancer, that it isn’t the shape or size of their body that dictates their ability to do ballet. It’s their technique, and wrapped up in that, their love of dance.

I would love to have a photo essay showing the foot of a complete beginner ballet dancer, then every month over 6-12 months as they trained, showing the evolution of their non-ballet trained foot into a ballet-trained foot. It would show so clearly that a ballet body isn’t something you genetically might be lucky enough to have, it’s any body that is trained in good technique over long enough that the body learns to move in that balletic way.

Sadly beginners are usually very camera-shy. And I would never put pressure on any of them just for a photo essay! So I kept looking through pinterest for real people doing real ballet, not the polished skinny (photoshopped) look we’re conditioned to believe a ‘ballet body is. In reality all different shapes, sizes and ages and genders dance ballet.

These women for example. Don’t you just want to hang out at the barre with these ladies? They look like they have Fun with a capital F! (And new shiny pointes shoes!!!)

The five women credit things like their slender figures, sharper minds and calmer outlooks to ballet, which they have taken up in their 40s and 50s

Then I saw this lass who reminded me of Adam Hills and his comedy routine about how when he got his drivers license they put on it as a condition ‘Must wear artificial leg.’
Like …. … … … ?

Anyway I guess this girl needs to remember she must wear her artificial leg when doing pointework, right?! (I couldn’t find where this image came from or who she is.)

You go girl !!! << Gabi Shull


Likewise, don’t forget your baby when pregnant ;-P (Helen Bowers of ‘ballet beautiful’ fame)

Image result for Helen bowers pregnant

This is a woman who writes a blog called Dances with Fat. And totally, wonderfully, unapologetic about her body. Cool huh? And she too has pretty shiny new pointe shoes!

Back in the Olden Days not only was it ok to have muscly thighs, but to have a perfectly straight foot en pointe.

.Fairy ballerina

There’s quite a presence online of dancers who are also trans. I have an especial interest in this area as one of my family is trans. (She’s sadly totally uninterested in dance, but she’s a total water-baby, so hey, do what you love!) This picture is of more shiny new pointe shoes, of the writer of the blog A Girl; Reconstructed. Pills, Pointes and Pandemonium.


I hope you’ve enjoyed these images of real people doing real ballet 🙂 .


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