Hi! Can I share something personal?
I was 8 years old standing in first position at the barre when I saw it.
My legs. My butt.
Why were they so much bigger than everyone else’s legs?
Why did my butt stick out and why did my skin hang over my skirt?
That moment started a 20 year journey of diets, low self esteem, and the constant drive to change my body. The belief that having a body like everyone else would make me happy, make me a better dancer, make all of my wishes come true.
I was desperate for some positive reinforcement from someone I looked up to. I wish a dance teacher had told me that my legs were made for jumping, my muscles were a gift and that if I leaned into my body I’d accomplish more than loathing it.
I was 28 the first time I could appreciate my body for its strength. I was training to become a personal trainer while also dancing. I realized that the more strength training I was doing, the stronger my jumps were getting, the more flexible my hips were getting and my overall power and control was through the roof.
Contrary to my life’s mission, it wasn’t the scale or the size of my clothes that made me feel confident, it was the ability to achieve great things with strength. Being able to squat 255 pounds makes me feel limitless. Being able to jump with a full split at 31 years old and one baby makes me feel proud.
I created Dancer-Fitness.Com to be a resource for coaches and teachers so they could help their dancers reduce the chance of injury, increase power, cleanliness and to fill a need for strength training that was missing. Dancers are becoming a respected type of athlete and I wanted teachers to have the tools to train them as such.
But really? My mission is to help dancers view their bodies as a tool, not something to tolerate. This took me decades to figure out and I want to condense that for your dancers. I want the dancer who has thicker legs to feel like a boss when she’s squatting and jumping or the shorter dancer to feel like a beast when she’s planking and turning.
Give your dancers a chance to feel like a powerhouse. Include strength training into your practices so they can find their hidden strength and confidence. Be that person in their life that I so desperately needed.
Baby Katie thanks you.
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