*See image below
The blue tutu was my first. I was at 11 or 12 years old. I look at myself now and think how tiny I was, but even then I remember feeling “fat”. I was one of the biggest/tallest in my class so I always felt like I wasn’t delicate enough for ballet. Between then & the second picture is 4 years and puberty. My technique improved, I still loved to dance but I was battling my body. I have never hated my curves more than then. My body was my enemy stopping me from looking right in poses or wearing the tutu without a bra or being comfortable to jump. To me, I was just big! I was only a size 12! I didn’t understand my body at all. I lost the energy to fight against the obvious and lacked the knowledge to work with my body and that was my last tutu.
If only I’d known then what I know now. That it’s ok to be different, that there’s still so many ways you can continue to dance, that I was so physically fit, that my curves would be my best asset and that I have the power to create my own path if I don’t fit the one ahead.
Now I see my body in a whole different light! It’s like I’m looking at the same person but the image I have of myself is completely different. I love my body. And I still love ballet! To be a ballerina wasn’t the path for me but I’m so lucky to be shaped by my years of ballet, from the way I walk and hold myself to the way I can pose in photo shoots and I still use my technique to dance in burlesque and cabaret, I went back to taking ballet classes and teach dance too. I still dance a variety of styles and I’ve worn tutus again. These are happy memories but wish I’d had the guidance to realise I wasn’t failing at being a ballerina, I was growing into something equally as special