Dancing is a great way to exercise and lose weight, and lots of people are discovering that dancing can be a truly fun alternative to the gym. Being around people who have been dancing for a long time can, however, be daunting, especially when your main dance goal is weight loss. Dance forums are full of posts by people who say they love to dance, but are mortified of dancing in public because they feel they are too overweight and therefore will look ridiculous.
Traditionally, dancers are supposed to be tiny and gorgeous. But in today’s world, being overweight is a relatively common problem, and while professional dancers still face the pressure to stay thin, regular mortals can enjoy dancing at any weight.
The problem starts when dance studios push beginner students into doing showcases, or dance competitions before they feel emotionally prepared. Dancing in public, and especially in the spotlight, requires more than just physical preparedness. One has to feel confident about his, or her dancing, as well as physical appearance. Having to wear a dance outfit that shows off one’s figure, problem areas included, can cause much more stress than learning a dance routine. And dance teachers are not always aware that their student may not be emotionally ready to be in the spotlight quite yet, even if he, or she is a fabulous dancer.
As teachers, we are often too concentrated on keeping our students involved in the life of the dance studio that we often do more harm than good by pushing them too far too soon. So if your main dance goal for right now is to get in shape, make it very clear to your teacher. And if you find yourself in a situation where you feel pushed into something you are uncomfortable doing, voice your concern. However, remember that if your weight is one of your main concerns, it probably has very little to do with your dance ability, and shouldn’t stop you from doing a performance. Unfortunately, people will always find something to judge in your performance, even if you are perfectly fit and wearing a fabulous costume.
So if being too heavy is the only thing that is stopping you from grabbing the spotlight you deserve, get an outfit you feel compliments your body, and go for it! The weight can always be lost, but so can the opportunity to truly enjoy yourself doing something you love.