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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballet and weight?


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It was something I was thinking about in other threads, as well as seeing just how much toll ballet can take on one's feet.

What are the effects of being overweight and dancing? I'm not very overweight, but I'm still quite chubby. I am hoping to lose some weight as I do ballet and shift my lifestyle around a little, but I'm probably not ever going to be thin(There's a number of reasons why this would be bad).

A lot of the body image in ballet seems to be just that, image. But in terms of what you can and can't do, how much is a restriction? Like with chubby ballet dancers every be able to do pointe work properly? Should they do it less than others? Or will the feet be proportionately stronger from carrying more weight anyway?

Being tall perhaps doesn't help much either, but I imagine things scale to an extent. I am worried about how much of a literal drag my weight will be as I progress, and if it is possible to perform aesthetically pleasing ballet while being overweight.

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It's all about proportion and strength, Roseweave. Since we can't see you, we really can't answer in terms of your ability. Basically, dancers who are heavy need to be exceptionally strong and exceptionally well trained in order to do pointe work safely. It's not a matter of weight as much as it is a matter of what kind of weight. Muscle weighs more than fat, so, a tall muscular dancer who is heavy but not fat should be able to do pointe work if they have the qualifications in terms of training. But a dancer who is just heavy but not muscular and strong should not do pointe work.

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I guess I'm looking for a rough guide, or for people to chime in with their personal stories.

I am overweight, it is mostly fat but I seem to have strong legs and feet. So perhaps it will balance out.

I'm going to seriously try to lose weight soon.

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There are many discussions around this topic in here, but maybe there are new stories



I just need to remind members about BT4D protocols on discussing weight. And as Ms Leigh says, there is no hard and fast rule about "over"weight. Remember also that adult dance students are not pre-pro teens. We have different bodies and different lives.

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I'll share my weight story, and I'll keep the exact weights out of the discussion since (If I'm not mistaken) we don't discuss our exact weights here (Is that right?) If I'm breaking any rules, moderators, please remove the post.


I'm 5'5". I stopped dancing in my 30's (I had the typical body type of a professional dancer) and returned 11 years in my 40's and I was 60 pounds heavier. Could I dance carrying an extra 60 pounds on a 5'5" frame? Yes. Was it easy? no. Did I develop any injuries due to the extra weight? no. I was, however, a professional dancer in my younger days, and understood my body; and although not strong or in shape, I still had all of the correct technique at my disposal. I have since lost about 40 of those 60 additional pounds. I don't have the body I had as a performer in my 20's and 30's but I think I look fine for someone in my 50's and I think I dance just fine for someone in my 50's.


Not sure if this was in any way helpful...but that's my experience.

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For concerns about weight, you must see a doctor. Only they will be able to help determine what is healthy and what is unhealthy for you. When we obsess over image we allow ourselves "time-off" to not have to actually do something about it: spending time obsessing over a fantasy takes away from reality.


Quite honestly Roseweave, I think it's time to get yourself into a studio and start taking classes!

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I'm basically waiting until september when classes start again. I'm spending the summer researching basically. I'll be more comfortable in september too since I'll have been on Estrogen for a couple of months.

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You know, being comfortable in your skin has nothing to do with how you look in a mirror. It has everything to do with who you are. Worry about becoming the type of person you want to become- the rest will fall in line.


I see no reason why you shouldn't go ahead and start this summer. Just do it!

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No classes until september though!

I seem to be able to jump and things just fine though... I am very heavy but not very fat since it's somewhat proportionate to my height and I have somewhat strong legs so I don't notice it much.

I'd probably have pretty good legs though if I lost a bit of weight, like taking off a training weight!

I'll see what I can do but it's hard to lose weight on HRT.

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Check with your physician for safe and healthy ways to accomplish what you would like. Usually, provided a doctor has given the go-ahead, aerobic exercise is recommended. Swimming, hiking, biking, & jogging are all activities that can be done over summer while awaiting fall classes!

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I guess it's just really jogging for me, hiking and biking require purchasing some form of transport, generally, and I can't really swim for obvious physical reasons! There is a group that does a swimming group for trans people in dublin but it'd be too hard to make it up for it regularly.


For now I'll just keep up the walking and make plans to do more of it. i know that the aspergers group goes for long walks in the countryside sometimes.


Though I think my question was more in terms of what's practical with my current weight, so I'd like to hear more responses.

Edited by Victoria Leigh
Upper case letter and punctuation.
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Roseweave, we cannot offer weight advice because we are not doctors!!!!! If you need advice about your weight you must see your physician.


Dancers come in all shapes and sizes. The best advice we can offer is that you need to stay healthy so you can live a long time in your body, and yes, exercise usually is a part of a healthy lifestyle. Ballet is a form of exercise, but you have to get into a classroom to do it!

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I believe that all we have to offer on this topic has been offered. Topic closed.

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