El Estoque

Learning to embrace your body as a dancer

Shriya Deshpande

When ballet came about in 15th century France, only men were allowed to perform the dance. Based on the standard figures of the time, an expectation for the ideal dancer’s body type was established. This tough expectation— a lean, willowy build and long legs— became the norm in ballet, and persists in a variety of dance forms today.

So when dancers wear costumes, when dancers have solo performances, when dancers constantly look at their bodies in mirrors while practicing, do their potential feelings of self-consciousness about their figures affect their performances?