This is a personal issue for me as my own kiddo does not fit the ideal for a dancer type body. She is tall compared to her teammates (even though at school she is one of the shortest in her freshman class) and has an hourglass shape most teen girls dream of. Traditionally, if she wanted to be serious about dance, her life would be dominated by diets trying to make herself rail thin.
I frequently hear it when out shopping for regular clothes with my daughter. If she mentions that she's a dancer to people, we often hear "I never would have guessed, you don't look like a dancer". (Yeah, rude much?)
The dance world is changing though. More and more, there seems to be a shift to healthy and strong bodies. Dancewear now comes in a wider size range and lengths and the girls that come into our store have a very "body positive" attitude. I rarely overhear talk of extra pounds they need to shed and instead hear things like the perfect set of turns they did in class or how excited they are about an upcoming performance.
Dance Spirit magazine did a wonderful article about this very subject and you can read it here.
Dance offers so many health benefits both physically and mentally, it is so wonderful to see the inclusion of strong bodies. The simple reality is good or bad, we are all judged on our appearance. I am so thankful for dance giving my daughter the confidence to be comfortable in her own skin during those crazy teenage years.
Strong = Beautiful