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    Anorexia and Room Full of Mirrors

    I usually interview dancers and use a few quotes in my blog posts, but this one is different.  I am going to leave you with Pixie and her own words.  They tell of powerful sto

     

    ry of a danger not uncommon in the exacting world of ballet.  She is not through the woods yet.  Are any of us ever?  But, her willingness to open the most vulnerable and scary parts of her soul are an inspiration and I am honored to pass this on to you.  Help me support her and others as they fight to find the balance between outer perfection and inner strength and beauty.  

     

    "I've been dancing since I was 3, and for almost as long I've had an eating disorder — these are the two cornerstones on which my life has been built, and it's equally hard to imagine myself living without either

     

    of them.As ballet dancers, we’re subject to an intense level of body awareness. We're presented with imagery of what the perfect ballerina looks like and then placed in a mirror-lined room filled with leotard-clad bodies where we can't help but notice our perceived flaws. Dance requires us to be intimately aware of the shape, functionality and position of every inch of our bodies, and it's one short step from a constructive check-in to a painful awareness of your flaws. A short step from checking your foot position and posture to noticing how your thighs smush together in fifth position and how you can see a tiny roll of back-fat emerge in your arabesque. I spent years trying to hide my illness, years of quietly passing out backstage during the intermission of performances, blacking out at the barre and fighting through brain fog to remember choreography. I was letting anorexia run my life —I hid my body beneath baggy clothing, avoided social events where food might be involved and casually brushed off the caring and concerned comments from my friends in order to be alone with the disease that was slowly killing me. I lied to doctors, assured them that I was fine, that I was eating, that I had no idea why my hair was falling out and I was having trouble concentrating. The worst part of