Staying Body Positive in Dance
When a Friend is Being Negative
We’ve all been there…innocently warming up for class and a friend unleashes hatred; onto herself.
She’s looking in the mirror and starts to pick apart her body and appearance. She says her butt has grown since last season or her thighs are clearly bigger.
Is this fishing for compliments? Looking for validation? Perhaps. It’s totally possible she’s just looking for you to tell her she’s fine. Or that she looks the same or better or at least “good”.
It’s also possible that she’s hoping you’ll chime in with some self-loathing of your own. Maybe she’d feel better if you start talking about what has gotten “bigger” or “less toned” on your own body.
This situation is hard to navigate and it’s hard to know what the best way to respond might be. You can watch this video for some ideas, or if you prefer, read on!
Try sharing with your friend how you deal with your own body image insecurities.
For example, try saying, “instead of focusing on a perceived flaw, I try to think about how my body is serving me”. Share how your negativity makes you feel and how you cope with it. That might help her see how to flip things to a positive.
It might also help to let her know how you feel when surrounded by negativity. Let her know that those negative comments make you feel helpless and you’re unsure how to help her turn it around.
You want your friends to be able to talk to you when they’re going through hard times. You might encourage her to come to you for support rather than venting or getting lost in negativity.
This might be a friend you’ll end up needing some space from.
It’s hard to stay positive when you have a friend who’s constantly focused on what’s going wrong. It’s totally acceptable to take space from people who are making it hard for you to live your best life.
Maybe you can help your friend to see the positive. Ask her, “what’s something about your body or your dancing that you love?” Remind her that she’s not alone and that there are also plenty of positives to focus on.
Don’t internalize your friends negativity or project it onto yourself. Don’t compare your body to hers. This is a big one! If a friend is complaining about her body and you view her body as “ideal” it’s normal to get lost in comparison.
When those thoughts come up, put the focus on your gifts and encourage her to do the same. Come back to gratitude. Your body allows you to dance! When you take care of your body and mind, you’ll be able to show up more fully and do your best dancing.
Find the light. Find your positivity. Focus on what’s going well.
Remind yourself what’s going well with a gratitude list. Simply write down 3 things you’re grateful for and remember that you have a lot of good stuff going on in your life. Even in trying, uncertain times it’s possible to find something positive to focus on.
The only person whose approval you need is your own.
When you approve of yourself, your confidence will soar!
Everyone is on their own journey. Each of us has to learn life lessons on our own. As much as you might be focused on the positive side of life, you can’t force your friend to do the same. If you’re committed to growing and improving as a dancer, maintaining body positivity will be a game changer.
One of the biggest things dancers struggle with is confidence. If you can work towards body positivity and remind yourself about what’s going well, you’ll have the potential to grow your confidence exponentially. Don’t discount the value of seeing your own worth.
If you’re struggling to stay body positive, check out this post: How to Create a Positive Relationship with Food and Your Body