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Ballet Talk for Dancers

friends, nutritionist and counsellor


Striving for Grace

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Grace, your first priority ballet-wise must be to recover from the injury! It might be a good idea to ask Babsaroo (or the nutritionist, or your doctor) about whether it would even be safe to drop weight during the recovery process. However, good nutrition is important for your body's wellbeing, and for healing, so don't skimp on it!

 

Once you've healed up and can take full class again, you can think more clearly about whether there's any reason to drop any weight. It sounds like you're a wonderful dancer as it is :wub: Some people are just not meant to be light and waif-like, and it's certainly not necessary for good elevation. Elevation requires strength, and you can't develop that if you're not eating well.

 

It sounds pretty natural to feel bad about one's body when injured. I've found it's also easy to develop a sort of love-hate relationship with ballet when you want to do it but can't. If so, it may not be so surprising that the counselor was not quite on the same wavelength there. If you felt comfortable with the counselor, could you schedule more appointments with her? She could probably help you better once she understands the issue.

 

It sounds like you need support in dealing with these issues, and if your friends keep saying such hurtful things, it may well be necessary to look for the support elsewhere. :unsure: Do you have anyone else that you could talk with about the subject?

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Oh, that sounds bad.

 

How about your ballet teachers? Do you feel close enough with any of them that you could ask them directly or indirectly for advice? It sounds like the issue is not so much what you weigh, but how you feel about it, and as ballet professionals they are probably familiar with these sort of questions and unhappiness about body image and the difficulty of not being able to dance.

 

To turn the issue around a bit, how about PT? Your doctor would probably prescribe some PT for you anyway, so as to rehabilitate the ankle after you get off the cast, so is there any chance of getting a meeting earlier? A good dance- or sport-oriented PT can do wonders to keep your spirits up during recovery, and there might be exercises you could do to supplement the floor barre and help you maintain your strength.

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Grace,

 

I'm sorry that this has to be short - all the new students have descended and I start teaching tomorrow. But, really quickly to second Sanna's advice to ask Babasaroo, your own nutritionist, *and* your doctor about eating habits while your ankle heals. You want those ligaments to be good and strong again!

 

Ami

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Don't let it get worse, Grace. You are in complete control even though it may not feel like it. You've asked for help from professionals who ended up not helping you, so it's easy to see that you might feel frustrated and unsure of what to do next. But be persistent in asking and someone will soon point you in the right direction. Don't give up :wink:

 

Also, did you let the nutritionist know you dance? She might understand where you are coming from more if you tell her that. Normal size in ballet is a different thing than normal in the real world sometimes. I have heard some of my friends say that when they lost even five pounds or gain it they feel it in their feet en pointe, so I know what you mean... but yes, just be persistent and you will find answers:)

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  • 4 weeks later...

If your friends are just trying to make you drop ballet to spend more time with them, then that sounds really selfish. Is ballet something you do that they don't? Why should you give it up if you enjoy it and it's important to you? Does ballet really take so much time out of your time with them? How many hours a week is it really? If they're worried about dieting and balming ballet for that, that would be a nice concern from a friend, but it sounds as though they're causing that body consciousness in the first place, with their comments and it's upsetting you. That's not nice. Maybe you should talk to them separately and say how it's annoyed and upset you, how you value their friendship and you really aren't going funny on them. Have you been doing ballet as long as you've known them, or are you a ballet returner? You can explain how you've loved ballet for ages. Perhaps you can keep an eye out to see if there's some resentment, jealousy, or insecurity on their part, that you're doing something that they're not? Do they feel they'd have liked to have been included? There are all these programmes on TV at the minute about dancing, so they might be up for it. Maybe they just don't get the concept or appeal? If these friends really are false friends then I'd hang out with some people with a different attitude. They may have no idea how upset you are.

 

"your ankles are probably getting weaker because you're putting so much weight on them,

I'm just a beginner, but doesn't ballet give strength, including ankles? That sounds rude to me.

 

because you're not super-skinny",

On the adult ballet forums I've read, there's no reason why people of all different proportions and weights can' t do ballet. In fact, if someone was going to benefit from losing some weight, then exercise is a good way! It's an odd argument.

 

"are you sure you should be eating? remember, you have to squeeze into a 'bodysuit' in a few weeks again!" Skipping meals or food groups is a daft and iresponsible way to approach dieting.

 

"we like gimpy grace better than snobby grace" Gimpy? Maybe ballet is actually making you a more confidence and happiness in some ways and that's actually a little bit threatening to the way you've been pigeon-holed? Or alternatively, you only fear that's how they've seen and are seeing you? have you ever seen 'Educating Rita?' The husband in that hates the idea of her going off to do higher education.

 

"I assure you that my personality remains unchanged, for better or for worse, regardless of whether or not I'm dancing!)"

 

Exactly! I don't know about you, but it just makes me happy and bouncy and wanting to dance around the house. Airs and graces don't come into it. Maybe they're mis-reading facial expressions to do with friendship worries and annoyance as snottyness - just as sometimes shyness can be mistaken for aloof haughtyness.

 

"I'm not in a good place right now. I can't eat in front of anyone anymore because I feel like I shouldn't be eating, like I don't deserve to be. I've been worrying excessively about my weight, to the point of crying about it and buying thermogenic diet pills."

 

Don't let other people mess up your enjoyment of food and ballet! I seem to have some problem with my throat and swallowing certain chewy foods, so I also hate people making me feel self-conscious when I want to relax and enjoy meals without stress. If I were you, I'd throw away the diet pills, talk to these friends and start mixing with people who don't do this to you - maybe guys who enjoy good food, aren't unintentionally undermining and who think it's great that you dance. As to the nutritionist and the counsellor, maybe they just got the wrong end of the stick about the source of what was upsetting you?

Edited by pas de chat
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Grace,

 

You were getting some good help to sort everything, you give good advice here... you get good advice here.... *please*... take care of yourself.

 

Edited by Redbookish as moderator to remove references to Striving for Grace's post.

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Grace, your post makes me feel very upset for you. You give such good advice to others, how can you do this to yourself? I have no way of seeing into your life, but it seems that your friends would have good reason to be worried about you, even if the way it's coming out is not ideal.

 

Edited by Redbookish as moderator to remove references to Striving for Grace's post which contravene board policies.

Edited by Redbookish
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Guest pink tights

Listen to Ami and Ruby they are wise young women....now Grace, I AM old enough to be your mother. If you were my daughter, I would pull you out of school, bring you home, feed you healthy foods, take you to a nutritionist....Please, dear child, stop abusing yourself like this.

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Thanks to everyone who's responded so generously to Striving for Grace's concerns. I'm afraid I've had to remove some material posted in a few posts as there was a discussion expressed in such a way that it contravened Ballet Talk for Dancers policies. I'm sorry to have to do this to adult members of this forum, as we try to be self-regulating, but we have to remember that young teens can read our posts here.

 

I've asked Karen and Dufay - two new moderators of the Nutrition and Health forum - to comment as they see fit on the issues around eating healthily while out from dancing due to injury, and I'd respectfully request that until one of them does respond, no other posters add to this thread. I'll close it after we hear from an expert.

 

Thanks - and I hope I don't have to do this too often!! :D

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Redbookish, could you please just lock the post now? I've removed all of my content. I know I shouldn't have posted some of that and I apologize to everyone at BT4D for breaking rules. I wasn't thinking. But now that I am, I really don't think there's anything else to be said about it- there's nothing to be gained for me or anyone else on BT4D by keeping it open.

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