Yesterday I went to my niece Ruby’s dance school performance. She’s only 2.5 years old, and has always (always, from the day she was born) loved movement and music so she absolutely loves her Tiny Tots dance classes even though she’s the youngest one in it (I think the next youngest is 3). My sister wasn’t so sure she was old enough to be in the performance, but was convinced to let Ruby do it. Just for the fun, no pressure. They were sooo unbelievably cute – forgetting the steps and waving to Mummy – but they all had a ball. The dance teacher didn’t really consider the littlies with scheduling, though, and they had 2 performances in the first half and another 2 right at the end of the 2nd half, so they were all a little fractious and tired by that point. Hayley decided to pull Ruby out of the second half, which was just as well, I think.
But the main reason I wanted to blog about this dance school performance is that it was far more fat positive than I thought it would be and blew the stereotype of whip-thin dancers to bits. (Yay!)
Firstly, the two dance teachers were both pear-shaped and plus-size (at least Australian size 18) and performed alongside the kids in a couple of routines.
Secondly, I was also struck by the diversity of size in the kids of all age groups, from slender to plus-size.
There was one little girl in particular who stood out in the junior competitive troupe (i.e. the ‘elite’ of the dance school – think Sparkle Motion). She was around 7 or 8, gorgeous, chubby and one of the best dancers there. She was obviously active and healthy and skilled – and flouting all of what the “Children’s Obesity” experts tell us about fat kids (lazy, inactive, uncoordinated, etc.). Her unselfconscious enjoyment of the dancing was marvelous to behold. I hope that she can grow up without the self-appointed body police affecting her self image or her enjoyment of what she is doing.
On the otherhand, though, there were some dances I questioned the appropriateness of. Like 8 year olds shaking their rumps to Lovely Lady Lumps. Or pre-teens in skimpy latex midriff tops. Who puts pre-teens in latex? The kids are far too young to be dressed in this way, on stage or otherwise.