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seallen

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer
  • City**
    San Francisco
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    California

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  1. thank you! ❤️ Maria Tallchief was my idol and archetypal ballerina when I was a child and one of the first ballerinas I saw live at NYCB. This is a lovely tribute ... and an extra treat was a few brief clips with one of her special partners Andre Eglevsky, who was one my teachers.
  2. Agreed - Lourdes lent her full support on social media following the Today Show interview. The message, as I hear it, is to advocate for mental health and body image issues and to call out body shaming, in the ballet world. Kathryn Morgan is talking about the body shaming that contributes to "self-loathing" that happens in early training and can continue into a professional career: (consider her mentor, the beautiful Jennifer Ringer critiqued by NYTimes as Sugar Plum). Morgan did not complain about not getting a role, but how body shaming beats down the psyche of creative, artistic beings. She celebrates her opportunity to be a voice for those who have been body shamed. She has always affirmed that ballet is an aesthetic art and has said she will never be the skinniest one in the room. She announced "I am ok"..."I know I am still going to dance" "I think about my 12 year old self, my 14 year old self ...or even my 21 year old self who went down a spiral when I got ill". And - she also declares "I am in a ballet company ... I am dancing Mercedes...and that 's going to be really fun."
  3. Even with what we have gone through as young dancers, ballet continues to bring such deep joy. Ballet training and dancing brought me so much that is good in my life and that has contributed to my happiness and success as an adult beyond the professional dancer option. Thanks, as well, to this forum where I have taken so much delight in the musings, opinions, and sharing of diverse and passionate ballet lovers. We may all not agree, all the time, but we all share deeply, in the love of 'the ballet' !
  4. ECat thank you so very much for sharing your story - it is so powerful for us individually and collectively to speak our truth. This is ballet's greatest opportunity to heal and thrive as we move into the future. I also have a story of body shaming beginning at age 11 as I entered training in a professional program in NYC. I was a student in the 60s, just as the 'body type' for ballet was under the influence of Balanchine and SAB was actively sorting and selecting accordingly...this influence took hold at other schools, where I also studied and danced, as the Balanchine body became the ideal in the late 60's and 70's. My memories, while 50 years ago, are still so fresh and alive: looking up to the 'older' girls (12 and 13) who would offer tips for what we now know is disordered eating, listening to girls in the dressing room bathroom stalls suffering with bulimia, having a teacher suggest I eat one container of yogurt and if I was hungry to have a small piece of cheese in order to get into the costume (I was 5'4" growing to almost 5'5" and weighed 104 lbs), I watched and participated in humiliating weigh ins and the celebration and praise when we had starved ourselves to reach weight. I have been a fan of Kathryn Morgan throughout her early rise, her illness and now as an exceptionally gifted dancer, teacher and advocate for health in ballet (physical and mental). While old enough to be her mother, her powerful video speaks to me - speaks to that confused and emotionally abused little girl, still inside, who was told that I was so talented but my body was so "wrong". It is time to embrace new standards of what is aesthetically pleasing in dance - other aesthetic forms are beginning to embrace body diversity. It is my hope that together, with our love of the art form, we will create a movement that as Morgan states, "stands up" and "talks about this more". We will no longer stand for "ruining the joy" as we become advocates mental health and body image in the ballet world.
  5. Brava Kathryn Morgan! for bringing the full spotlight on body shaming in dance. www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD0xB8VNzSk
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