ballet Dancers and body image

642 Words2 Pages

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.
“Pain speaks a language almost anyone can understand” (Aalten, 2005). However many ballet dancers are worried about their career especially if he or she has an injury; which is the norm of thinking in the culture of ballet. But there are some rare cases, that dancers use their injuries and take away a positive experience. Which heightens his or her sense of awareness to their body and gives them the opportunity to learn the possibilities and limitations of what they can or cannot do physically.
Dancers deal with pain or an injury differently than most people because they defy the principles of the human design and have the urge to prove themselves to the company that hires them. One would think that a profession like ballet, dancers would take care of their bodies (instrument for their profession) but with the demands of the director and choreographers, dancers must ignore what their bodies are telling them and go on with the show.
This writer’s brother danced for 16 years and he mostly did ballet. One time when he was practicing for a show he lifted his partner and she twisted wrong and he got a hernia in his groin area. He danced on it for the longe...

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...tly consists of long limbs, a skeletal frame, which accentuates the collarbones and length of the neck, as well as absence of breasts and hips”( Kelso, 2003).

Works Cited

Aalten, A. (2005). In the presence of the body: Theorizing training, injuries and pain in ballet. Dance Research Journal, 37(2), 55-72. Retrieved from
Daly, A. (1989). To dance is "female" dance, sex and gender: Signs of identity, dominance, defiance, and desire. TDR, 33(4), 23-27. Retrieved from
Kelso, P. T. (2003). Behind the curtain: The body, control, and ballet. Edwardsville Journal of Sociology, 3(2). Retrieved from
Ramsay, B. (2000). Dance theory, sociology, and aesthetics. Dance Research Journal, 32(1), 125-131. Retrieved from

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