My Inner Ballerina

by Angelique Robles

My Inner Ballerina

Imagine a world where the largest size is 12, no one has the same body shape as you, and you have one clothing store that carries clothes that can fit you but style wise are designed for women starting at age 40. Not so much fun for a hefty 10-year-old, but that was my world growing up. There was no “Plus size” section in nearly every store, no body positivity movement, and definitely no plus size models to look up to. Simple activities like joining girl scouts, ballet, or even cheerleading weren’t as simple as signing a permission slip either. It required an enormous amount of confidence and courage when you are the biggest little girl in the room. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I was able to conjure up enough bravery and take my very first ballet class.

In my heart, I had been a ballerina almost my entire life, but in actuality, I was never brave enough to sign up. Being a “plus size” girl my entire life, it terrified me to join something that was made up entirely of really skinny girls. If no one was dancing around in tutus at my size then maybe little girls my size shouldn’t do it. That was my mentality 20 years ago. Fast forward to today and here I am, 30 years old lacing up my very first pair of pink pointe ballet shoes at Impact Dance Academy. Channeling my little girl and loving every minute of it!

The best part of the entire day would have to be while I was preparing to, as they say in the ballet world “Go on pointe” for the first time. Having zero confidence in myself I placed my hands on the ballet bar in front of me and as I conjured up all my strength within me I pushed off and was standing on my tip toes. Full on ballerina status ( besides the sweating profusely) and as I’m up on my toes I hear this little voice from the background gasp in amazement and say “Wow! Mama, I wanna be a ballerina like her.” My heart nearly burst as I brought myself back down from ballerina on pointe high heavens. It was my little ballet mentor Ashley looking at me like I was magic. She didn’t see a big ballerina, a plus size ballerina, or a chubby 30-year-old woman pretending to know what she was doing. This little girl is a real ballerina having been in dance since she was 2 years old. And here she was gazing at me with stars in her eyes admiring me.

For a brief moment, I was able to channel my inner little girl. Letting go of all insecurities, body anxieties, and fears of not fitting in because of my size. This one experience has opened my eyes to trying things I’ve always wanted to ever since I was little but never had to courage to. Horseback riding, belly dancing, aerial trapeze, the sky is the limit! And has no weight limit!

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