Eating Disorders in Dance

You need to have a THIN body, but even THICKER skin

Dance should be judge on skill and not how one looks.

"I felt in control"

"I just want to be perfect"

Eating Disorders



Anorexia is an eatting disorder which cases people to obsess over their weight and what they eat. To prevent oneself from gaining weight people resort to starvation.

Anorexia in Dance:

It is common to see anorexia with dancer's. Victoria Ferhuson said, "There is an unspoekn competitiveness between dancers." To get the part you must not just have the skill but also must "look" the part. At times girls are fired from parts due to them not looking good in their costumes. Eatting disorders are more complex than just apperance and weight, its how they feel in control of something in their lives for once. Dancers do not have much control in their lives. They are told what to do, when to do it, and how to do it right. They are criticized 24/7 on their technique. The only thing they an control is how much they eat.

"Such a beautiful dancer but your fat."


Jenifer Ringer:

Jenifer Ringer was part of the New York City Ballet and then asked to leave in 1997 because of weight. They stated

"Nothing is working with you staying, so go and fix yourself and then come back and everything will be fine."

Dorothy Gunther Pugh:

A Founding Artistic Director, of the Ballet Memphis has said that weight is important, that she looks at the body first and then skill. She has also stated

"I will not cast that dancer because he or she is too big".


You see eating disorders associated within dance in movies. Movies try and display what happens behind the scenes of the ballet world. Showing that it isn't all pretty and pink and beautiful. That the ballet world is actually ugly. The pressure to be PERFECT is insane and impossible to reach. But these dancers strive for the closest thing to it and if that means starving themselves or throwing up to be perfect they will take that risk. If you grow up only knowing dance and someone trys to take it away from you, you will push yourself t the extreme to keep it. That is what these dancers are doing, failure is not an option and they don't see what is happening to them until they collapse. Examples of these movies are Center Stage, Black Swan, and Dying to Dance, these movies show what a dancer will do to be perfect.

Black Swan