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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Deciding to quit dance - a struggle

Jeon Tae Na

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hello, this is my first time writing on here and honestly i'm very nervous, so forgive me if i ramble a bit too much.

ive been struggling with the decision of quitting dance - im studying in a national arts school where i dance every day as well as study, and in the past couple years i've been facing lots of physical limitations because of puberty and i cannot reach the same range as i could before. which is completely understandable - i've given lots of time and thought over this, working my best in class and taking up pilates so supplement my technique, but nothing had helped much. body image issues stemming from puberty is an inevitable factor leading to this dilemma - and dancing has become quite a nightmare for me the past year or so. 

ive always had people pushing me on and telling me all the things i could achieve and stuff like this, until my ballet teacher (who has been the main source of encouragement as well as expectations) walked up to me and told me to "lose weight" rather curtly in front of the class. it was a rather nasty blow to my self esteem and my attitude towards dance has not been the same since. 

ever since i was two ive dreamt of becoming a professional dancer - and for it to start wavering at the age of fifteen is terrifying me because if i didn't dance i'd probably end up going to law school instead because my parents wanted me to - but my passion for dance is there, only dwindling whenever i see myself in the mirror, unable to reach my leg up to the height i could hold it at, or having my rotation greatly limited and lines less clean. 

ive gotten over the fact that i shouldn't be comparing myself to what i could do and instead strive to improve, except my progress has been held stagnant fo the past year, if not worse. dancing no longer holds the same joy it had for me because i am unable to recreate the sense of accomplishment of seeing myself improve both technically and artistically. 

truthfully, i am not able to judge for myself if this is only a period of time where i have to suck it up and grit my teeth to get through or the deciding factor of my future. i don't really know what to do, or decide, but i'd like to ask for some suggestions for dealing with the current problem? any replies will be greatly appreciated, thank you for reading this post. 

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Jeon Tae Na.  

I'm sorry you are struggling so much, but physical changes do happen as you mature. And sometimes these physical changes do cause some technical changes. Usually they are temporary, and you should be able to regain things like extension, rotation, and elevation. However, if you are depressed it would be best to get professional medical help. This does not have to be  "deciding factor" of your future, but you do have to seek help in dealing with it. 

We do not discuss weight or weight issues on this board. but I will suggest that you see a Nutritionist and learn how to control things healthfully. 

Please understand that these changes happen at your age, but they are not fatal in terms of dance unless you allow yourself to dwell on them and not deal with them in a safe and healthy way. Many dancers go through this, so you are not alone. However, I am going to have to close the topic to any further posts because of it's connection to weight issues.


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  • Victoria Leigh changed the title to Deciding to quit dance - a struggle
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