Dancing is a great way to exercise and lose weight, and many people are finding that dancing can be a really fun alternative to the gym. Being around people who have been dancing for a long time can, however, be overwhelming, especially when your main dance goal is weight loss. Dance forums are full of posts from people who say they love to dance, but are mortified to dance in public because they feel like they are too overweight and will therefore look ridiculous.
Traditionally, ballerinas are supposed to be small and beautiful. But in today’s world, being overweight is a relatively common problem, and while professional dancers still face pressure to stay slim, normal mortals can enjoy dancing at any weight.
The problem begins when dance studios push beginning students to show or dance competitions before they feel emotionally ready. Dancing in public, and especially in the limelight, requires more than just physical preparation. You have to feel confident about your dance, as well as your physical appearance. Having to wear a dance outfit that shows your figure, including problem areas, can cause a lot more stress than learning a dance routine. And dance teachers are not always aware that their student may not yet be emotionally ready to be the center of attention, even if he or she is a fabulous dancer.
As teachers, we are often too focused on keeping our students involved in dance studio life that we often do more harm than good by pushing them too hard too soon. So if your main dance goal right now is to get in shape, make that very clear to your teacher. And if you find yourself in a situation where you feel pushed to do something that you are not comfortable doing, express your concern. Remember, though, that if your weight is one of your main concerns, it probably has very little to do with your ability to dance and shouldn’t stop you from performing. Unfortunately, people will always find something to judge in his performance, even if he is perfectly fit and wearing a fabulous costume.
So if being too heavy is the only thing stopping you from getting the spotlight you deserve, get an outfit that feels like it complements your body, and go for it! You can always lose weight, but also the opportunity to really enjoy doing something you love.