body image in dance

When brainstorming this project, the first topic that came to mind was body image. As someone who has struggled with her own body image, I sense that part of the problem is that we avoid discussing it. During my four years studying dance at university, I can only recall one professor who has really addressed body image and shared her story with our class (thank you, Hope Boykin!!!). Because weight and body type can be such a sensitive topic, I understand the hesitation to address it, especially in a formal setting. However, ignoring the issue will not make it go away!

Today Alyssa Myers ('20), Aurora Vaughan ('21), Bella Allen ('22) and Maddy Falconer ('23) have joined me on Zoom! Unfortunately the very beginning of our conversation was cut off, but to summarize: I started today's talk by asking everyone, how dance has influenced your love for your body? We always talk about the harm dance has done to our self-image but it's done some good too. For example, I love the physical strength that dance training has given me.

Other topics from today include: what mantras and practices do we use to use to feed our self-love? How have we experienced the dance world's lack of body inclusivity? And finally, what changes have we seen and do we hope to see in the dance community?

A big thank you to Alyssa, Aurora, Bella and Maddy for their kindness, vulnerability and contributions!