Talking about a topic that I relate to a little too well, lack of flexibility.
We all at some point in our dancing careers lacked flexibility (unless you were lucky enough to be born with it) and I think we can all agree it sucks. While flexibility is such a vital part of dancing, I think it isn’t being seen something it isn’t. It has become another way for dancers to compare themselves with one another and to self depreciate. Through social media revealing only the most flexible people on the popular accounts, the common dancer feels lesser.
I personally have struggled with flexibility my whole life. It has definitely made me feel bad about myself as a dancer that despite how much I work to be flexible I could only get my rights side splits in the last year. I constantly stretch, but my body just isn’t built that way. It was and still is hard for me to see more flexible people praised and put first because their bodies were capable of what mine was not.
I’m not saying flexibility shouldn’t be such a big part of ballet, but I do think it should be looked at differently. Everyone should continue to work towards those oversplits because it does matter in the dance world. You should always be stretching to get those better lines, but you shouldn’t feel bad that your body isn’t as flexible as someone else’s.
To put it short, I just want dancers out there to know that you are not a lesser dancer for being less flexible.Don’t beat yourself up about flexibility like I did, but work hard instead to achieve it. Lacking flexibility doesn’t take away from you dancing, it’s just that having it can add to you dancing.
I hope you enjoyed this post, feel a little more comfortable in your skin, and keep working to gain flexibility! Stay tuned for a new series of posts on ballet shoes starting Monday and remember to follow below.