Dancers are suffering: How the clothing that is worn in class psychologically effects dancers
The current expectation of a dancer is set at a high bar with a foundation of standards established years ago. Of these demanding requirements, the ballet world has a significant involvement of rules when partaking in this art form that can be detrimental to the mental health of a dancer. This is a problem that is overlooked by most ballet studios because of the usefulness of traditional ballet attire and that needs to be corrected because, if left uncorrected, dancers will continue to fall into an unhealthy mental state.
In Ballet, there is a specific requirement of tights and form fitted shirts and leotards, all of which varies between genders. …show more content…
Starting with the attire being worn, a breakdown of the different standards involved in ballet will help analyze specific problems to do with the clothing being worn. When enforcing the required clothing for a ballet class, students will be able to see where they need to improve and what specifically needs to be corrected to achieve the desired output for their training. The only downfall with this is that evaluation of themselves is a constant thought in their mind. In this case, they are over analyzing themselves to the point of building eating disorders because they think they’re too fat, thinking they have an ugly body because of the corrections that constantly get brought up in their mind, and other negative comments to do with the clothing being …show more content…
That can be examined in a study made by Jon Archelus, Gemma L Witcomb, and Alex Mitchell, called, “Prevalence of eating disorders amongst dancers,” that provides data about the number of dancers who train in many different styles of dance that have eating disorders comparatively to ballet dancers. (2014, p. 7) When looking at the data compiled by them, ballet dancers seem to have a higher percentage of affected students. For example, 16.4% of the group of ballet dancers were said to have eating disorders, while the group of varying dances had a 12%. For bulimia, ballet was at 10.12%, while varying had .82%. Lastly, for body dissatisfaction, ballet was at 17%, while varying was
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From the reading, I was most interested in the section regarding ballet training. The text states the recommended age for ballet training is eight years old. I truly thought this was crazy because I started ballet at three years old. The text also explains that children who are preparing for ballet classes typically wear soft glove slippers on their feet to allow them to get used to the feeling of Pointe shoes. When I first began ballet class, my instructor encouraged us to purchase ballet shoes until we were ten years old. At the age of ten, we were given the option to begin using Pointe shoes. I remember I was so excited to get my first pair of Pointe shoes because I thought they were stunning and graceful, until my feet began to bleed.
Dancers often times have many pressures put on them, which can lead to physical and emotional damage. These damages occur through the pressures from the media, parents, teammates, and the stereotype that society has placed on dancers. One of the hardest pressures that dancers have to overcome is the pressure from the media. The media places harsh, rigid, and false ideas of dancers on to the mass public. Constantly bombarded by commercials, magazine ads, posters, etc., the idea of being thin and beautiful is what the society thinks of as the “norm”.
By universal definition, "sport" is listed as "an activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively." Football, basketball, baseball, soccer and other primary activities have always been concretely defined as sports in society. However, one of the most physically demanding activities is constantly forgotten when it comes to the realm of sports- dance. Dance requires a tremendous amount of training and creates an aura of competition in which people compete to be the best, win, and take home the trophy- just like in traditionally accepted sports. These sports, however, do not possess an element of psychological health threats that some competitive dancers unfortunately must account for due to the emphasis placed on physical appearance.
Ballet is an athletic art form that utilizes muscle control, flexibility, and physical strength. It requires extreme discipline from the dancers and takes an extreme amount of mental concentration. This discipline causes dancers to have success throughout life and specifically in academic studies. There are many ways that dance can affect the success of a person’s life; however, there are two in specific that make dancers generally more successful. To begin, ballet causes dancers to be self-motivated workers; dancers cannot rely on others to push them to be better, but must have the drive within themselves.
Young girls and women symbolize femininity with being a ballerina. Kelso comments that in the shadows of the spotlight lurks an abusive world of eating disorders, verbal harassment, fierce competition, injuries, fatigued, and malnourished dancers (Kelso, 2003). In today’s world of ballet, dancers suffer from always being in pain, worrying their body image is not the right look they need to have to get lead roles resulting in the development of eating disorders, and male ballet dancers are stereotyped as being homosexual when most of the male dancers are in fact heterosexual.
You will most likely get sat down or kicked out of class if you show up to a professional ballet company class without your attire on. The reason for wearing this outfit is so that the instructor and the dancer can see their body lines and easily correct the mistakes that the dancers make and have a better understanding of their body shapes when working at the barre or going across the floor with combinations. On one hand, the use of ballet clothing makes for a great way to correct your mistakes, but on the other hand is it too much? There is an article of writing written by Brena R. Price and Terry F. Pettijohn ii where they address the issue of “The Effect of Ballet Dance Attire on Body and Self Perceptions of Female Dancers.” (4) In the article, they mention that the use of mirrors and ballet attire hinders a ballet company’s performance in class. Since most ballerinas spend hours and hours criticizing and critiquing themselves, they can cause mental problems like eating disorders and a lack of self confidence. The reason for this being said is that it shows an unnecessary amount of pressure for a dancer that can cause severe problems to them down the
These expectations are achieved by the different dance styles, settings, much and the overall look of the dancers. However, there are many aspects that contribute to the pleasing appearances of dance; the appearance of the dance industry rests heavily on the performers. Dancers, especially in advanced dance studios, have to have the whole collection of talent. Dancers should attractive, physically fit, strength, and be elegance. As a result of such high demands, dance companies have high standards for dancers that are selected to represent their studio. These standards cause loads of pressure that is put onto the dancers that can potentially contribute to the development of improper diets and eventually lead to eating disorders. For dancers, eating disorders are highly encouraged by teachers and even fellow dancers. It appears that the dance industry is not aware of how harmful the unhealthy eating habits dancers can attain can be to their dancers. There are many effects that come with these habits; these effects are exaggerated in dancers as they participate in intense physical activity, and must maintain high energy levels. However, high level dancers cannot maintain high energy levels if their body is not getting the proper
Ballet is a beautiful and romantic type of performance art. It originated in the Italian court systems in the 15th century (Jonas). Since its origination, ballet has undergone many changes and gained worldwide recognition. Filled with elaborate costumes, cheering audiences, lights, weightless movements and beauty; ballet is admired by many. On the magical stage ballerinas can become whoever they wan to be, and perform in a world of fantasy. For these reasons, children, especially little girls, all over the world dream of becoming ballerinas when they grow up. However, becoming a professional ballerina is an extremely difficult accomplishment, in which few will achieve (Kelso 1). The world of ballet may seem to be filled with glitz and glamor but, behind the curtain there is an entirely different story. There are extreme demands and pressures put on these young dancers to be very thin and nearly perfect. Some of which include body and weight demands, competition, and social pressures. These constant pressures can lead to a negative body-image and even debilitating eating disorders (Price and Pettijohn).
Ballet has been an art form since the late fifteenth century, but society did not truly see the impact of ballet until the nineteenth century. Modern day thinkers possess the idea that ballet began with tutus and pointe shoes, but it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that this opinion was observed. Ballet has come a long way. It has survived the turmoil of many wars and has changed itself by accepting new ideas and impressing the audience with its unique stylistic views.
Many young girls grow up taking ballet class, but there is a lot more to ballet than just little girls running around in tutus. Many people think that ballet is boring or isn’t their thing but there are many roles that go into putting on a ballet. A lot of work goes into doing a ballet. There are many famous ballets that without the story, the ballet wouldn’t be as interesting. There were many influential dancers and choreographers in ballet. There are many basic steps that frame the technique of ballet. Ballet is very physically and mentally demanding. Ballet is an art that many people misunderstand, but there is so much more to ballet.
Some of this equipment includes soft ballet shoes and pointe shoes. A pointe shoe, which is one key element of ballet, is a shoe used by dancers to dance on the tips of their toes. However, intense training is necessary to learn and maintain the skills for this kind of dance. The first pointe dancers used a regular soft shoe to go en pointe, thus the technique was used sparsely due to its difficulty. Later on, the first pointe shoes were made, but they only came in one size. The pointe shoe, which has been perfected over the years, now provides a sturdy base for the dancer’s feet. Despite this, almost all dancers require padding for their toes, medical tape to minimize blisters, and/or other products used to lessen the stress on the feet while dancing. Additionally, each pointe shoe is handmade. When a dancer gets a new pair of pointe shoes, they must sew the elastic and ribbon onto the shoe themselves and “break in” the shoe. Breaking in a pointe shoe prepares it for dancing by making it more pliable and comfortable. After sewing the ribbon and breaking in a shoe, the pointe shoe is ready to be used
Those who are not a part of the dance community are the ones that are most likely against male dancers. It is understandable to know that those outside of the dance community may not understand or may have certain beliefs that males should not partake in such a feminized hobby/sport but, it is more believable to understand that anyone should be able to pursue their dreams and talent and that stereotypes should not matter. As our generation grows, the more accepting and opening we should be towards gender equality in sports such as dancing. A peer reviewed journal by Jenifer Fisher discusses how she believes the people in the dance community and outside of the community try to make male dancers seem “macho”. She states this strategy is, “that ballet is a tough as football, a “real” man’s game,” (Fisher46). This statement goes to show that male dancers partake in tough circumstances just as a football player, or any other masculine sport. Therefore, male dancers should be seen as equal individuals compared to those in the more masculine sports scenery. Also, in another brief article by Richard Schneider, he states that “many male dancers and choreographers of the 20th century took pains to show that dance was just as masculine as, say, baseball or fencing” (Schneider).This statement is saying that male dancer encountered painful endurances to be accepted as masculine. In Negotiating the gay male stereotype in ballet and modern dance, Katherine Polasek and Emily Roper addressed the peer pressure amongst male dancers and what they experienced. A participant and also male dancer named Jonah explained: “I actually got beat up a couple times.” Also, in an article on balletinthecity they talk about different stories in which male dancers receive harshness and how they overcome and battle
Maling, Michel. "Ballet Dancing and Injury Prevention." EzineArticles Submission - Submit Your Best Quality Original Articles For Massive Exposure, Ezine Publishers Get 25 Free Article Reprints. Web. 07 June 2010. http://ezinearticles.com/?Ballet-Dancing-and-Injury-Prevention&id=3861053