Dance Difficulties Essay

2223 Words 9 Pages
As an extremely challenging and physically demanding pastime, it makes sense that a career in dance has lots of pressures that go along with it. This should come as no surprise seeing that every professional sport requires hard work and at least some sacrifice. It is questionable, however, if there is maybe too much pressure put on dancers in this day and age. Many people do not realize what it takes for a person to make it as a dancer, the dedication and drive the person must have. The fact of the matter is, the outcome of a dancer’s career may not outweigh the physical and emotional damages left over from the long journey to the top.
     In the eighteenth century, the most prominent dancer of the time, Marie
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“The combination of a demand for a thin shape with endurance training increases the need for dieting, which puts the dancer at risk for developing an eating disorder” (Thompson 62). Fitness has come to mean complete repression of body and appetite, and many athletes are viewing eating disorders as a means to an end; to be the best no matter what (Despres). In fact, female athletes are ten times as likely to develop eating disorders than women in the general population (Hood).
     The personality archetype of a dancer with an eating disorder is a perfectionist. The person is a compulsive high-achiever, and is always striving to be better at any cost. He/she will be eager to please, a lot of times shy, someone who needs constant reassurance. This is because many dancers with eating disorders question their self worth, and feel they have little value (Thompson 76). They feel that there is only so much they can do to make a spot for themselves in the world, to have any significance. Studies show that many people who are affected with an eating disorder come from strict, overbearing parents with very high expectations, causing the constant need to be superior. A dancer maintaining an eating disorder may be doing so to assert some kind of control over his or her life. Regulating their eating habits in such a way makes them feel powerful, and less under others’ command (Dobie).

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