Embrace Your Biscuits

Guess who visited Dance World for Healthier Dancer week? The one and only Biscuit Ballerina!

Biscuit Ballerina represents the struggle for perfection we all feel when we do ballet. Biscuit Ballerina does the complete opposite of ‘correct’ technique but she knows how fabulous she is and she doesn’t let her flaws get her down! She has so much attitude and she uses it to prove that ballet is hard and nobody is perfect 100% of the time! This week is healthier dancer week so Shelby Williams, soloist at Ballet Vlaanderen and alter ego of Biscuit Ballerina dropped into Dance World to have a chat about perfectionism, body positivity, and the duplicity of social media.

‘Cos ballet is hard and nobody is perfect 100% of the time!

The world of dance is full of unrealistic standards, set by ourselves, by professionals and by social media. This leads to a lot of self-critique and anxiety. Biscuit Ballerina exists to remind us all that it’s ok to laugh at the things that don’t work out and not beat ourselves up over it.

It’s ok to laugh at the things that don’t work out…

As a ballet student (and as a professional dancer) Shelby experienced anxiety as a result of comparing herself to other dancers. As a student, it’s very hard not to feel bad if your arabesque is lower than someone else’s or your turnout isn’t flat as the girl in front of you at the barre. As we scroll through Instagram we are bombarded with shots of fabulous feet and unbelievably flexible dancers. Something that helped Shelby was finding a role model with a similar body type to herself. She found it encouraging bearing in mind that nowadays diversity can be your friend, companies want different dancers and just because your look doesn’t work for one company doesn’t mean you’re not another company’s dream come true!

It’s very easy to feel alone and miserable about your flaws but nine times out of ten if you’re struggling with something, you’re not the only one! When we feel inadequate we tend to try to hide our struggles, Biscuit Ballerina wants us to share our bad days, our tough experiences and the things we haven’t mastered yet. Ballet isn’t only about the curated snapshot on your Insta story or the moment on stage in front of the audience and the lights; it’s about your journey, your learning process, your happiness and the friends you make along the way!

When we share our bad days, our tough experiences and the things we haven’t mastered yet, we help each other more than we know…

So next time you’re in ballet class and you feel down about something, remember: Nobody is perfect! We all have struggles and we can relate to and support each other more than we know. “Dancers dance for the joy it brings them. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from experiencing that joy!”

If you are experiencing any dance-related anxiety make sure to chat with a parent, your teacher or someone you trust. A healthy dancer is a happy dancer.

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