The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

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Ballet and Health February 6, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 5:40 pm

The following is from a contributor, Paz Puente of Spain.  It contains too much important information and insight to leave as a comment, so I am turning it into a blog post.

I know this may stir up a hornet’s nest of angry teens and post-adolescents who may or may not worship Joy Womack.  If that be the case, know in advance that I’ve dealt with that situation many, many times before, and trolls never leave this blog in quite the same condition they were in when they found it.  Nor do they get their comments published.

Don’t read this for the controversy or the butt-hurt.  Read it for what it truly says; it’s a very profound warning.

Hugs to you, too, from long term total recovery lane.
In part, we can speak about these subjects with knowledge and objectivity because we were there and we came back. We also have some medical education to assess the risks of what she is subjecting her body to.
What few people get about eating disorders beyond starving and overexercising is that it’s a very obsessive compulsive, narrow focused and autistic mental state. Those who suffer it are not only perfectionistic, but self aversive and self punishing and they are actually trying to control what they feel out of control THROUGH their body and body-control measures.
She is creating a world not for us to live in, but to control how we perceive her and to control (through her perception of how we are perceiving her) a deep sense of being lost and vulnerable in strange land.
She has teachers -no matter how beloved or devoted- who pinch her flesh, call her fat and push her to live on broth and lemons.
The only reason why she is not extremely underweight is that she is bingeing out of camera and video editing or that she is carefully monitoring the exact amount so she can burn it. Her life is gym-class-rehearsals-a bit of sleep-gym-class-rehearsals. Rinse repeat.
Some time ago I wondered how many prima bars was she eating to cover the energy expenditure. I suspect that she is in an hyperactive ednos now, with secret binges and intermittent fasting.
Even in such a state, her body is hers to punish and break down to pieces. Even misguided by a malfunctioning brain and a disastrous cognitive model of life, when you are adult and corageous enough to move overseas and live in the Bolshoi/Kremlin Ballet microcosmos, the minimum is that you are respected for your daring choices.
That’s not the point, really.
The point is that now, many of her teeny groupies (she has some and a bunch are from Spain) are looking up to her and starting to create a mental model of a ballet career that is not Sylvie Guillem’s or Tamara Rojo’s fierce perfectionism and careful body-preserving choices, but Joy Womack’s posthuman/eating disorder fueled athleticism.
As I said, I am not a ballet cultured person. I know more than the average, but in no way I can offer an informed and deep opinion like yours, for example.
My concern is that a lot is going into that channel that may induce unhealthy perspectives and choices in teens.
And doctors practicing ballet hacking on youtube without telling viewers that the first issue in stem cell therapy is that you cannot predict that they declare total cancer war on you short or long term. In a medical facility you have to sign an excruciatingly long informed consent sheet.
Ballet is a demanding discipline. A little or a lot of masochism, gritty work ethics, tolerance for pain, discomfort and healthy limits shattered from time to time are part of it, but there’s so much effort invested now by directors like Tamara Rojo to eliminate eating disorders and install recovery and rehab facilities especially designed for ballet and so many dancers like Georgia Reed are having the guts to show the not so cute, not so glam reality of ballet to the newcomers that it’s disheartening that Joy’s desperate efforts to sort out her life derail them.

No supplement will ever replace healthy, balanced eating. No bodyhacking will ever replace right rest and humility to meet body limits with common sense. No social media campaign will ever replace true LOVE for ballet and narcissistic driven goals won’t keep ballet alive in a generation who wants it stardom/visibility now, no effort, no journey.
It’s sad, to say the least.
I only ask that Eleanor Womack is honest enough to state the risks of enduring these procedures Joy liberally displays like the panacea. The risks of oversupplementation is not reminded either (I’ve seen Joy happily telling us that she sometimes shoots herself three B12 vitamin injections per week when she is stressed or overworked) and now she is selling supplements.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antioxidants-may-make-cancer-worse/
Imagine supplements + stem cell therapy + hyperbaric http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/physical_medicine_and_rehabilitation/complications_of_hyperbaric_oxygen_treatment_134,148/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10685584

Not even a tiny disclaimer has been attached to her video.

Another big hug from Spain.

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3 Responses to “Ballet and Health”

  1. betagold7 Says:

    SO so true. That’s exactly how I feel about it. Thanks for addressing it!

  2. KatiSzed Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s so important that it’s properly addressed and this is a great post and I wish more of Joy’s younger followers would read it!
    Having grown up in a full-time Russian ballet school I’m more than aware of the practices concerning weight loss and the attitude from teachers towards how to go about it.
    This raises another point: If Joy is/was eager to show ‘honesty’ in her videos and her lifestyle, then food should certainly play a big role as a dancer – promoting healthy eating would go a long way to a younger fan base. However all they see is that she’s apparently living off of protein bars and the odd lemon/chicken soup.
    When I was dancing full-time I was desperate for 8-9 hours of sleep, reading a good book be damned, I need my sleep! And I was not cramming in crazy gym workouts at the crack of dawn. When I was at my lowest weight I admit I was not eating enough, but I when I was eating well it was never an issue to keep the weight off. Later I started restricting, binging etc and as a young, pressured dancer (and prone to ankle injury) I know I would have jumped to any sort of supplement/potentially dangerous treatment that someone is advertising. Joy is on a slippery slope – I’m not sure what I find worse: when she was filming herself and her co-workers without their consent or promoting her own (unhealthy) lifestyle….

  3. Thank you for addressing this. My father was also a medical professional and he always said that nothing is 100% safe. It was his responsibility to be honest with his patients and tell them everything that could happen. For Joy’s father to dismiss commenters’ concerns and insist it is 100% safe is irresponsible.

    That Joy works hard and is dedicated is obvious but I too wonder if she is working too hard. If she wanted to be honest with her fans, she’d tell them that dancing professionally is hard work but at the same time, no amount of hard work will turn an average dancer into Sylvie Guillem. You might be able to get those super extensions with a lot of stretching but the ability to take one’s breath away and move an audience is something that won’t be acquired through countless hours at the studio. Then again, I don’t think she herself understands.


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