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Guest Maiko

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One thing I'm self-conscious about when thinking of starting ballet again is that I'm all marshmallowy bumpy and flabby. :party: I think I'd be embarassed even walking into a ballet store to buy stuff. :thumbsup: Kinda like "ew she's so fat, what's she doing here?" hangup. *sigh* :green: I don't wanna wear baggy stuff because then faults can be picked up but the thought of wearing fitting stuff when I no longer have the body I used to is soooo embarassing. :pinch:

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The more you dance, the more the bumby stuff will go away. Noone is looking at you, dancers are terribly vain and there is only one person we are looking at: ourselves.



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Hi Maiko, and welcome to our forum! I think MJ is exactly right -- people are watching

themselves more than anyone else -- I know I sure am. I gathered from what you wrote

that you are returning to ballet after a hiatus -- if so, I think it will be easy to fall into the

trap of holding overly idealistic standards for yourself. I am fairly new to ballet, but I remember

what it was like to return to running after a decade-long "vacation" from it. I was SO

angry at myself, because I still remembered what I could do BEFORE, and that gap between

the old and new me was frustrating. Starting ballet, from scratch, for me was easier in

some ways, because I had no expectations. The downside was that I also had no idea if

I would like it and develop in it, or not. If you took ballet before, and you are thinking of

returning, then at least you know that you love to dance. That's a gift right there; hold

onto it whenever the going gets tough, and you'll be amazed, I think.


As far as ballet stores, believe me, I know what you mean. And, as a guy, it feels strange in

an additional way, in that some stores have little/no merchandise for guys. And, maybe it's just me,

but there was NO WAY on earth I was ever going to go into one of those stores, surrounded

by giggly teens, their moms, and bustling female salespersons and order a dance belt. No way.

Thank goodness for online ballet purchases! That's what I did (and do), and it works for me.


Good luck as you start down a new/old road!

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Although I think it's true that the only person who cares about the bumpy stuff is you (meaning me too, the bumpy stuff embarasses, angers and :innocent: me), that is plenty.


I think the main thing this: you've got to wear stuff that will allow you to go to class. I mean sure, in an ideal world I'd wear a black leo and pink tights and feel the need for nothing else. In the real world I have about 12 pairs of the black wool Gaynor Minden tights (not scratchy, not bulky, I swear I'm not a shill for the company but I just love them) and that works for me. On the good days. On the bad days I concede that I'm not perfect either physically or psychologically and wear biiiig black fleece sweatpants.


Oh well. At least I'm IN class, right? :thumbsup:

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I think every adult faces this when they return to classes. Even the ones who really shouldn't be worrying. The thing to realize is that everyone else is so busy looking at themselves, no one is noticing your flaws. The other thing is that most adults are really trying to compete with each other. Adult classes tend to be very supportive. We aren't competing with each other for SI spots, company jobs or even the cutest boy in the class. Wear what you feel comfortable with. If that isn't even black tights yet, try the ankle length jazz pants that are even darker than black tights and a t-shirt over your leotard- you're body can still be seen.


Don't let body image prevent you from going to class, because going to class will improve you body image.

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Get yourself to class! Soon you will be seeing less of yourself! Remember that everyone else is too busy trying to get it right to worry about anyone else in class! Good luck.

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Ok, this sounds totally stupid, but one of the things that helps me to not be self-conscious is to not wear glasses or contact lens to class. I can't see what anyone else looks like, so therefore they can't see what I look like! Plus I can't see more than a general outline of my body in the mirror, so I can't see my pudgy thighs!

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You guyz are fantastic, I appreciate the support soooooooo much. Your replies made me feel a lot better. I know the more I dance the better I'll look and feel, it's just the initial stages I guess. DreadPirateRoberts you're right, I am returning to ballet after a veeeeeery long break. I gave it up when I was 12. When I think about dancing again I get this achy feeling in my heart I long to do it so much. I can't wait to start.

Edited by Maiko
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Guest prokofiev





Think of it this way: If you are in decent physical shape when you start back to ballet, the physical changes are subtle and you have to work harder to get results early on. Those of us who came (back) to ballet all lumpy-bumpy get the extra high of seeing our body change from class to class! (And, of course, learning to avoid the "fat" mirrors at your studio never hurt anybody :thumbsup: ...)


And I must echo what others point out: adult dancers come in all shapes and sizes, and are very supportive. The other adult students at my school are very, very friendly and we really spur each other on. At present I'm among the smaller adult students (didn't start that way...) but there are 'lumpier' students who are far more polished and technically capable than I!! Bottom line - we're all in it together! :hyper:




Good luck and best wishes on starting back!

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First off I was rather suprised/happy to see this post. being on the verge of adult dancerdom ( aka alot younger then classmates and yet not on the "fast track" with peers) this has been something i've thought alot about. as we all know.as we all know body image is something thats delt with alot by the ones on the "fast track" and yet a non-issue in adult class aside from our own insucurities. MJ is completely right. I know that I ( and probobly others) am worrying about MY body. how fat I look. I have stopped trying to compare myself to my classmates ( this goes for technique) and worry about doing MY best. that being said however, even though it's not going to happen for me as a dancer I do feel a little bit of that pressure from my peers. and oh man... if I thought i'd gotten over it it came right back when I did PDD! ( not to get into that but few of you were there)) mj ( and others ) were also right that it does get easier as you dance more and your body does change ( but I er.. shouldnt elaborate on that) So I apologize for ranting.. I guess just to echo what others have said. good luck. and try not to let it take away from your enjoyment.

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Maiko, it doesn't matter, really. I'm not at my "fighting weight", my breasts are larger and my stomach isn't a six pack, but after not dancing for several years, I went back to it and have put much effort into it- I'm en pointe and actually love dancing more now than I did then. Just feel the rhythm, wear whatever you need to, and dance- soon you'll be nailing double piroettes and not worrying about a thing! :D

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Just don't set yourself up for disappointment. Maiko, I wondered about your choice of username, as I thought you might be conjuring up the image of a fifteen-year-old apprentice geisha. That's what "maiko" means in Japanese. (On the other hand, if that's your real name, then that's your name!) Don't set yourself as a twentysomething against a fifteen-year-old on-track advanced student. It will hurt.

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I understand what you mean Major Johnson. I know I'm nowhere near as fit as I used to be so definitely don't expect to be able to do it all straight away. Even so, I think the process will definitely be fun and that's what I'm looking forward to.


As for the nickname, I use it for everything online and have been for years. Nothing to do with ballet. :D

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omg.. just finished my first class. My legs are all wobbly and my big toes hurt. It was great, but pure torture, which I expected. Hopefully this cold will go away by the next class on Wednesday!

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Way to go, Maiko, now you've really already cleared the worst obstacle!


(At least for me, nothing in dance I've encountered since has been more difficult than getting myself to the scary adult ballet class for the first time...)

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