Anna Pavlova, the famous ballerina was known for her poor technique and consistent dedication. She was said to have arched feet and small ankles; a few features that she was always teased for, and yet those are the things that made her the well-known ballerina that we all know. Although I am not a ballerina and do not have skinny ankles, I am a dancer and do have a feature that most dancers do not. Scoliosis did not skip my generation within my family and it is something that has been developing as I get older. As a dancer you get told often that having scoliosis will be a burden in the dance world because your posture might be off, or your feet might not turn out well enough, but instead of putting you down, those are the things that should motivate you the most.
All my life I hated my back, I was so scared that I looked “crooked” to everyone, and although sometimes I still get self-conscious about it, I have come to realize that it really isn’t that noticeable. Every time I tell someone that I have scoliosis they are always surprised, and not once have I been told that it looks like I have this “deformity”. I have taken numerous dance classes, and although sometimes having scoliosis might make doing something on my left easier than doing it on my right, that just makes me want to work harder. Proving people wrong and showing them that I can do things they thought I couldn’t just made me want to dance more.
Other than scoliosis, there are also other things about myself that I sometimes don’t exactly favor, and I know that other girls also have that problem as well. Sometimes I think “Wow my hair is so thin, I can’t do anything with it,” or “why can’t I look like that girl?” but then I notice I’m just wasting my time. Why dwell in a bubble of negative thoughts when instead you can just be happy that no one else is anything like you? Just think how awesome it is to be so unique because you’re the only you. Start to notice how many compliments you’re getting on that hair that you dread so much, or those eyes that you think are too big. Take all your features that are different and use them to your advantage. When you’re being told that you can’t do something because you don’t have the “look” for it, don’t ever give up! Instead show people that your unique trait will stand out for the better.
I believe we need to be the people that aren’t going to hide who we are just because we don’t fit a certain criteria. People talking about Anna Pavlova’s misplaced port de bras and her terrible turnout didn’t stop her from putting on the performance of a lifetime in the role of The Dying Swan, and just like her we need to embrace all of our unique beauty and put on our own performance of a lifetime.
To read Caroline’s post in Scholastic’s TeenBeing blog, click here!