Me in a big fat tutu?

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a dancer.


I went to dance school between the ages of 3 and 11, and loved every part of that world. The costumes, the music, the competition, the friendships. It really shaped my early life. 

Big Ballet

Aged 8, Dancing to Puppet on a String

But as I got older I became really aware of my body, what it was capable of and what it wasn’t. I was great at Tap, but not so much ballet, despite the fact I loved it. I just didn’t have the frame. I quit dancing school in the end after not bring accepted at a stage school I wanted to go to, and put my dreams of being a professional dancer behind me.

But my desire to dance never left me.

As a teenager I joined a street dance group with my friends. Its funny really, a dance practitioner came into our youth club to set up a crew for a show that was coming up, for weeks I sat and watched too self conscious to join in, and then one day one of the dancers didn’t turn up and I stepped in, having learnt all the moves already. I later went on to college and University to study performing arts with lindyhop, street, contemporary and even African dance all featuring.

After graduating from Uni I stopped dancing (apart from occasionally in a nightclub) and my weight creeped up, and once you become a LARGE person then you REALLY start to feel like dance isn’t something for you. Who wants to look at a big person wobbling all over the place hey?

Big Ballet

Who says big girls can’t dance

Well plenty of people it seems. Tonight on channel 4  we will see the first programme in a new series called “Big Ballet” following the journey of a troupe of FAT dancers as they prepare for a production of swan lake, led by the amazing Wayne Sleep.

Now at first when I saw this I thought “oh here we go”, but actually after seeing an interview on ITVs this morning earlier today I get it completely now. You see once you have had ballet in your heart it never leaves you. In our bodies we may be a size 20 and unable to touch our toes, but in our hearts and mind we are still that pretty elegant ballet dancer in the beautiful pink tutu.

Why shouldn’t big people dance? Dancing is good for the soul, great for your body and for your self esteem…a bit like running but without the mud I guess.

I very rarely dance now and I really wish I had dance in my life, but alas I am still too self conscious to sign up for an adult class. A good friend of mine Kathryn, she dances. Over the last few years she has tried all sorts, ballet, lindyhop and I think she is doing the tango at the moment. She is of similar build to me and doesn’t have a background in dance (well as far as I know). I am envious of her drive to do something she loves despite her size, and generally just really proud of her.

I can’t wait to watch the show tonight, I hope it shows these ladies in a positive light and encourages overweight people to try out new activities.

And finally, just for a laugh, check out this video of me in my dancing prime!!

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3 Responses to “Me in a big fat tutu?”
  1. taylormapps says:

    Great blog, I was at the Royal Albert Hall playing in the orchestra when Wayne Sleep was filming the English National Ballets Swan Lake last summer. Will be an interesting watch.
    My wife and I have now had 4 ballroom/Latin dance classes and love it.
    Never too late to have a go!

  2. madhat2014 says:

    Love you video. 🙂

    When I was young I was painfully shy and would never have thought of performing in public. Only in the last 2 or 3 years I have learned to sing, perform and dance in front of an audience after joining a local amateur dramatics group.

    Now I wish I had started when I was younger! 🙂

  3. Flashbacks of my own dancing days as a kid. Thanks for the memories 😊

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