Ballet Dancer Stereotypes Are Not En Pointe

I have been dancing for 17 years and my main focus has always been ballet. The reactions you receive when you tell someone you are a ballerina and how long you’ve been dancing, are priceless. Nevertheless, there are always the same ignorant questions and if you’ve ever done ballet I imagine you will relate to these.
Dance isn’t a sport.

There is some stigma about dance being easy. If you want to dance on blocks of wood for 5 hours until your toes bleed I would gladly take your place at soccer practice. Just because ballet is graceful and beautiful does not mean that it does not take an athletic person to dance.

Can you show me a dance move?

No I will not stop what I am doing and break out into a Swan Lake variation in the middle of the hallway at school or in the grocery store.

I did ballet when I was 4, but then I quit. I was really good.

Ok first off, you were 4. Nobody is good at ballet at the age of 4. I am 19 and I am still not good at ballet. Also the ballet you did at 4 cannot match the ballet I do today. Literally EVERYONE did ballet when they were 4!

Oh you do ballet, so you’re flexible right?

I will never understand what possesses a boy to say this. Also no I am not going to show you my splits…

Wow you eat a lot for a dancer.

I burn more calories in one ballet class than you do in a week so let me eat whatever I want.

I take zumba so I totally get that dancing is hard.

Zumba is nowhere near the skill level of dance. Also ballet is not designed just for suburban moms to jump around and sweat in lulu lemon pants.

Can you do all those spins?

First of all they’re called turns or more specifically pirouettes. Second of all I can do a triple on a good day.

Are you as good as the girls on Dance Moms?

Nope. I have been dancing since I was 2 and I have come to the realization that these 10 year olds will always be better than I am.

What are you going to do after you quit ballet?

Well you know I don’t know. Maybe I’ll take up knitting. But I do know I will keep dancing until my body completely dies.

Doesn’t that hurt?

No dancing on wooden blocks and bending my body in half feels great. This is totally natural.

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Senior Photos by: Erika Lynn Photography

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