As someone who spent more than half of their current life dancing, there are SO many misconceptions about dancers, and ballet in general.
1.) Everyone Has An Eating Disorder
Not everyone who dances has an eating disorder. Dance has evolved so much that it is incredibly difficult to keep dancing if you have an ED. I had a roommate who had an ED, and only allowed herself to eat between 200 - 500 Calories a day! She eventually went to see a doctor about why she wasn't loosing weight and found out that she had developed Hypothyroid and nearly shut her metabolism down entirely. Dancers now are being educated on eating healthy, and the damage that you will do to your body with an ED. As a dancer, your body is your biggest asset to succeed, and if you abuse your body, your dream of becoming a Professional will probably not happen.
2.) You Have To Be Stick Thin To Do Ballet
This is something that I am SO happy that has changed over the years. Professional Company directors see stick thin and think "unhealthy." You need to have muscles to be able to successfully do this for a living.
3.) You'll Have Really Ugly Feet
As someone who fits pointe shoes for a living as well as danced in them for 10 years, you will only have ugly feet if you do not take care of your feet. And on top of that, if you have ill-fitting shoes, you will have ugly feet. There are so many things that are in the market now to help prevent things that will harm or change your feet; You just need to research them and know where to find them. I had proper fitting pointe shoes, and wore the proper padding and nobody would ever know that I danced. I took such good care of my feet. I massaged them and soaked them in epsom salts when they were sore. I made sure my toenails were trimmed and clipped so I didn't get bruised toenails. Don't want ugly feet? Take care of them!
4.) It's Not That Hard
There used to be a saying "if ballet were any easier it'd be football," and I still, 100% stand by this saying. Ballet requires so much discipline, strength and concentration, and you have to make it look completely effortless. It is extremely taxing on your body if you don't allow yourself time to rest, and a single injury can claim your career.
5.) It's Just Like The Movie "Black Swan"
This always makes me giggle, when people ask me this question. The movie has some small similarities, but as for the drug abuse, crazy lesbian sexy scenes and kanoodling with the Artistic Director to get lead roles, it does not really happen in the Ballet world. Way back when I think it used to, but nowadays, not so much.
I hope you all enjoyed this post!