#BopoBallerina: How I Overcame Ballet’s Body Standards and Inspired Others

Leenah Loves Herself

Article via Dance.com

I’m a dancer, and I’m an advocate for mental health, body-positivity and self-love. But even just a year ago, when anyone asked what I do, I simply said: “I’m a dancer.”

I recently launched the #BopoBallerina campaign as an effort to break the norms of dance-body types. And I want to share with Dance.com why I have.

For most of my teenage years, I was convinced the only thing I wanted to be was a dancer. My entire life revolved around dance. I was convinced that if I didn’t fit the typical dancer stereotype, I wasn’t worthy and couldn’t succeed as a dancer.

I started dancing when I was 3 years old. But I didn’t find my true love for dance until I was 13, when I left my recreational dance studio to delve into the world of competitive dance. After a summer ballet intensive at the…

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