General Dance Discussion > "Big ole gals" and dancesport.

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Anonymous, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    Once upon a time (hi, I'm Poni btw), I was 90 lbs and pretty fit. I showed a Latin breed of horses, so naturally at our after-show parties, there would be live music and some dancing, usually merengue-type, or salsa-type stuff. I never knew the actual pattern, but it was always fun to get out in the aisle (barn parties, sometimes on the pavement around them, or in the arena afterwards, etc.) and have a lot of fun (insert rant on bad dancer etiquette or propositioning here sometimes though, grrh).

    Well, that's been many years ago. My old fat pony is now a retired pasture ornament, and not a "ringdancer", and I've since grown to ... much larger.. proportions. I weigh double that now, and I am quite obviously overweight.

    Were I to enroll in Latin or Ballroom dancing, would I encounter many people such as myself? I'm not self-conscious about my weight and appearance unless I'm on a horse or in a dancing or festive environment. I was always raised with family members sneering "lookit' that cow, tryin' to dance/ride/mind her own business- she oughtta quit that". Some of that, I ignored, but now I wonder if others would think that of me- the sport is NOT inundated with husky gals such as myself. I'm 26, and 5'7, btw.

    I would like to enroll and learn the basics, then improve upon them, and hopefully lose weight with the increased activity, and then someday be thin enough to pursue dancing more seriously if I showed any aptitude, in amateur competition, or just for fun at various places.

    Is this unrealistic? What do you think?
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Welcome to df ponidancer! :D I don't think your size would be any problem. I know there are some other old threads that talk about this but must head to bed now...night, night df!
  3. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I'm also a 'woman of size' and I've been dancing ballroom *and competing* for seven years now. A couple of years ago I gained about 40 pounds, but I keep dancing even though I gained simply because I love dancing. I've managed to take off about 10 pounds so far, and I refuse to stress out about it. I've been down that road before and it just leads to depression and disaster. Yes, the competitive aesthetic is skewed toward thin girls, but don't let that stop you. No one has ever been outright rude to me, although I know that things have been said. And to the people who said them all I have to say back is "Sure, it's easy to pick on fat people now isn't it?" You'll find rude people who are no fun everywhere in this world, so like I said, don't let them stop you.

    The best thing about dancing is being able to take your non-"ideal" body and do beautiful things with it. The more I dance, and the more I improve, the more at peace with myself I feel and the less inclined I am to do crazy things like crash diet or say bad things to myself about my self. I was in ballet class the other day and was so pleased and amazed with how graceful I looked, how good my posture was, how smoothly my legs swung in grande battements. Dancing makes me happy in my body, and makes me proud of myself. These are good feelings to have.

    I'm lucky that I have supportive teachers, and a partner who thinks I look beautiful on the floor. I choose to surround myself with supportive people who encourage me in my dancing. I'm not letting my size stop me from doing what I want.
  4. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    Welcome, Ponidancer!
    I don't know about dancing ballroom latin, but ALL of my friends have lost considerable weight doing merengue, bachata and salsa, and have managed to stay quite fit! I exercise religiously, so have been able to maintain my weight throughout my life, but salsa dance has made me even more aerobically fit, and has added even more definition to my legs!

    There ARE some big girls who dance salsa, mostly latinas, and BOY can they dance!!! I have seen some FABULOUS XXL size dancers performing at congresses! My advice- just dive right into it, enjoy it and see what happens! I'm sure with your confidence, you're not going to let ANYTHING get in your way! :D
  5. Vin

    Vin New Member

    I agree with the previous posters. Honestly speaking I have had some of my best experiences dancing with heavier girls. Often they have put alot of effort into being a great dancer.
  6. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Welcome to Dance Forums! I'd encourage you to give dancing a try - it's a lot of fun! I'm not exactly small either, but I dance, and compete too. Dancing has done a lot for improving my overall fitness & posture, and I just feel better. 8)
  7. twnkltoz

    twnkltoz Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Poni! What kind of horses do you have? I used to show Arabians...back when I weighed about 100 pounds...*sigh*

    Anyway, I'm 5'6" and for a couple of years was up to 230. It didn't stop me! Now I'm down to 196 and have a long way to go (I'm a stocky girl, so 150-160 is good for me). I don't compete anymore since I teach (I do a little pro-am from time to time), but I do performances and such and get plenty of compliments! In fact, I tend to forget that I'm fat until I see the pictures. :shock:
  8. Gumby

    Gumby New Member

    Hi Poni -

    I too started dancing as a "Big gal" (215 lbs on a 5'3" frame). I have been dancing and competing for 5+ years. I have now thanks largely to the dancing slimmed down to 160 and am edging downward still. None of my teachers ever gave any indication that they thought my weight either was or should be an issue. They worked me just as hard as any of their other competition students. In fact my teacher has only ever said two things about weight in general. One is that a women isn't heavy until you have to pick her up (by which he is usually refering to someone 110 lbs who is hanging on him to the point where he can hardly move :shock: ) and the other (which was very personnally encouraging to me) we all have the same muscles some of us just have more blankets! :lol:

    I also agree with Laura. Now that am serious about competing I do take much better care of myself in many other ways. I drink my water and eat my veggies- reluctantly get enough sleep -sleep is a big waste of time - cause if I don't it shows in my dancing. Over the years I have watched large girls at competitions, in both latin and ballroom, give awesome performances and be appropriately rewarded by the judges. It was one of the things that attracted me to the sport in the first place. Under all the glitter - ability really does matter.

    Socially it is much the same, there may be a few people who would pass you by as a partner for those who are more --visually pleasing -- but most won't give it a thought and those few that do are usually there for reasons other than dancing so you won't be missing out on the good partners. Dancers like to dance and they really don't care, how big, short, plain, et cetera their partner is if they can dance well. One of my favorite dance partners is a large gentleman who really doesn't move much but he is quite musical and leads very well. I love dancing with him and even though I don't usually ask guys to dance (kind of shy :oops: ) I always make it a point to get a couple of dances with him.

    So take the lessons, learn to dance and don't worry about anything other than making room in your closet for all the dance shoes and clothes you are going to need for your new obsession.
  9. setsuna713

    setsuna713 New Member

    Hi Poni! I too am not the skinniest of women, but you just have to learn to not let it bother you. I love dancing and I don't let other people tell me I can't do it becuase I don't wear a size small. I also think that appeaking to other women somewhere like DF can help fight the few (very few) negative people you might encounter. Good luck!
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New Member

    Hi again!

    Whew- this seems to be more comforting. I didn't think everyone out there was toothpicks, just the ones on A&E Dancesport, LOL.

    And, as far as relaxed social dancing (at horse show parties), I can largely be myself, and not have to worry a whole heck of a lot about "impressin' folks", just do things correctly and considerately.

    I LOVE Arabs- my all-time favorite was Figuroso, followed by Raffles. I have a Raffles Great-great-great Grandbaby, but in between Raffles and Latigolita (my boy's dam), there was an out-crossing to Paso Finos.

    I have two Paso Finos, and I love them like children. At one time, Ickis was MY "dance partner"- we showed a lot, but now he's retired, and Zumi, his half-brother was a rescue.

    In fact, last night I was out in the pasture just laughing my fool head off and "horse dancing"- it's a term we horsefolk have coined when the horse is so darned playful they won't leave you alone until you play with them- usually darting and spinning and dashing around on the ground while they pretend to run over you, stop at the last minute, and try to steal your Popsicle, LOL.

    Horsefolk like me are definately an odd lot;)

    Thanks for all your help. I'll continue to backread and make notes, and lurk :D
  11. DanceAm

    DanceAm New Member

    I was very heavy when I started dancing and have since lost 45 lbs. But it wasn't just dancing that did it.

    First I started dancing, a couple of lessons a week and a social party, then sometimes a second social dance party. The activity alone made me feel better and got my butt off the couch. It was fun and it became something I looked forward to.

    Second, I started analyzing my diet, it was full of fast food on the go during the day. I stopped eating so many burgers and threw the fries away.

    Third, I started practicing my dance and took it more seriously.

    Fourth, I started exercising outside of dance, first 2 to 3 times a week, then worked to 4 to 5 times per week, and I still do that.

    Next, I really started eating better. Fast food is strictly the Broiled chicken sandwich, no mayo, no fries, unsweet tea with splenda.

    Last, I stopped eating a snack late at night and reduced my eating out in restaurents. Meals at restaurents are a place where I always overate. I found out though that a small steak and a baked potato with minimal

    This was my 4 year program, it came off slow and steady. I spent many months not losing anything, but got more fit and started losing inches.

    Dance competition is my biggest reason for doing this, I wanted to be more fit and look better. My waist was as big as 38 and it is now 32. I never did any fad dieting, but I did over time control my diet better. I would say for maintenance purposes, I am sort of a calorie counter. I didn't cut out all fats or all carbs. But I have reduced my sugar and those addicting french fries.
  12. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    Respect :notworth:

    That’s the way to go.
    Wepa :cheers:
  13. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo New Member

    That's a great story, DanceAm! You have certainly put a lot of effort in to taking care of yourself, and are now reaping the rewards!!!! :D
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Inspirational story DanceAm!

    Help!!!! I'm shrinking! Even a 29 waist does not fit me anymore!!

    (This is true, but I discovered something. How could they when you measure the waists and most are at least 30.5 or more!! I've never fitted into a 30.5 inch waist except when I pigged out for one week and did not move at my aunt's place. We are a nation of fatties being deluded about our true dimensions! :shock: And for those of you who don't believe it, I'll take off my pants, show you the label, then measure the waist for you. :wink: )
  15. Purr

    Purr Well-Known Member

    Uhmmmmm.......that's ok........we believe you. :wink:
  16. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I guess the "keep your pants on" expression really is appropriate for some people after all! :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol:
  17. squirrel

    squirrel New Member

    I don't think size really matters when it comes to dancing... and I don't think size should stop anyone from dancing...
  18. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

  19. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I am probably what you would class one of the "skinny girls" but even I have noticed a difference since I took up dancing again. While I haven't lost weight (really don't have any to lose :oops: ) my shape has changed, and I can only put that down to going to dancing between 2 and 5 times a week.

    Go for it!! If there are people who sneer, ignore them. They are not worth your time and effort. You are trying to do something which is to be commended. Hold you head high and just dance! :wink:
  20. tasche

    tasche New Member

    Well a 29" pant means that it should fit someone with a 29" waist They have to add extra ease into the pants so you can move and stuff.

    I've personally lost about 45lbs since last june. Its been slow and if I dont lose anything some months it doesn't bother me.

    But I will say I wasn't able to lose the weight until I got to the point where I said "I like myself exactly the way I am" It wasn't until I was happy with who I was that I could change who I was.

    Does that make sense?

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