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Growing up, I had no issues with my body. I, frankly, never thought twice about it. I went to gymnastics and dance and ate when I was hungry and what I desired. All of that changed when I was 18, and a director of a children's theatre made several comments about how "real dancers don't eat". It started to be ingrained in my brain that I wasn't a "real dancer" unless I was doing just that.

Let me tell you from past experiences, I danced worse the less I ate. I shamed myself for eating even when it was healthy food. My body changed drastically for years because I would eat little, and then eat a lot to make up for it. Bottom line, it wasn't worth it. So, how did I get to where I am today? I started to bring my focus back to the important things: "How straight is my leg? Are my muscles engaged properly? Is my arm where it's supposed to be? Do I have enough fuel and energy to produce my best work?" For several years those important DANCE questions would slip my mind in class and the questions popping into my head were: "How can I make my thighs skinnier? Why did I eat that muffin?" I wasted so much time worrying about my physical appearance, when I should've been focused on how to squeeze that extra pirouette out, or how to battement my leg higher.

It's natural to worry about your physical appearance. We stare at a mirror all day, every day as we watch ourselves dance. Feeling good is important, but I promise the fewer calories you eat will not make you feel better. Your brain won't have the power it needs to be happy, and no matter how much weight you lose you will never feel satisfied. Try feeling good with your favorite dance attire, a new hairstyle you spent time on, working hard in class so that you enjoy watching yourself dance in that mirror.

Learning to love yourself is a powerful tool. As your dance teacher, I'm here to be your biggest cheerleader, and also push your dance abilities. Dance is not just the hours you spend at the studio. It's everything in the classroom and everything you take home.

Here at Refine, we provide a safe space for everyone.

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