Thursday, June 16, 2016


"Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body."
Martha Graham

June 16, 2016

Dear Slightly Overweight Girl,

Let's be honest your size and shape are not that of the ordinary ballerina. Ashamedly that's what first caught my eye. In a group of small girls, your body type singled you out. But here's the thing, I found it impossible to take my eyes off you.  Not because of your size - that faded away after the first arabesque. What drew me in was your grace. Your smile. Your obvious love of what you were doing. 

You're being "you" in a field of "others" reminded me of the Hot Dog Princess I saw on FB last week. Invited to her dance class's princess party, this independent thinker, stepped into a room full of  satin and lace clad Elsas and Annas, wearing a hot dog costume. An article in* said "Hot Dog Princess has become a symbol of hope for anyone hiding behind a mask of conformity."

I don't think your purpose for dancing was to stand out. I'm guessing your unadulterated motive was to dance. Your size had nothing to do with it. And that showed in every step you took. 

I wonder if you've already heard the naysayers. You're not thin enough. You have to have long legs. Remember this, they said the same things to Misty Copeland and look where she is now. Maybe being a ballerina is not your lifetime goal. That's ok. What you are developing now is probably more important than jetes and pas de deux's. You've learned discipline, poise, grace. You've stepped onto a stage where blending in is often more important than standing out and discovered the joy that comes from following your heart and being true to yourself. 

I don't know you. I may never see you again. Yet I am so proud of you. May all your dreams come true. May you continue to dance to the music of your own heart. 

Delighted in the beauty of you,

Merry Me

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Dear Mary...So fun to see and "hear" you write again. It seems like it has been a long time. However, it is a great model of taking care of self by not pushing to meet all the outward deadlines. The deadlines we put on ourselves. C.S. Lewis in Shadowlands talks about it being the time in a doorway between one room and the next....a transitional time. The farmers know that fields need it and allow them to lie fallow for a while after a long and productive season. Fallow time nurtures us in a way nothing else can. You continue to inspire me and touch my heart in so many of your thoughts. Thank you.