“There are some f**ked up people in dancing,” my brother informs me as if, after 27 years of ballet, this is news to me. “Believe me it is just another conversation you don’t want to have with me. They are crazy.”
I don’t dispute his claims. They come after his 4 year old daughter did her first dancing show. “First and last,” he tells me. “Never again.”
I can’t blame him. He watched me as we grew up obsessed with ballet from a young age to the point that it was all I cared about. I spent evenings and weekends at rehearsals. I never stopped stretching or practicing or reading ballet books. I lived it, breathed it and most of all did not eat because of it. He watched me disappear into a world of eating disorders, distorted reality and injuries. He lost me to a place he did not know and couldn’t understand. My big brother fought against the constant self-loathing and body hatred. He lost. He witnessed first hand the dark side of a beautiful art that consumed me, his little sister and he has not forgotten it.