Thin body?

by Sihi

Is it important to become thin to do contemporary dance?

Comments for Thin body?

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 23, 2011
Answer from Maria
by: Maria

Dear Sihi,

I have talked in several of my answers about the wide field of expressive and creative possibilities of contemporary dance.

Considering that this type of dance is an art that works over unlimited subjects, matters, or questions; that it is sometimes theatrical, sometimes visual (as in fine arts) and so forth, my answer to your question is NO.

The value of a skinny body is an important attribute for current fashion or marketing practices, though contemporary dance is neither one of those.

I know that people is used to think about dancers as thin people, because they are indeed most frequently like that. But, this is usually a consequence of our daily practice, as we are moving constantly and that makes us spend a lot of energy, and eventually loose weight.

The need of being thin is more a condition that applies to ballet, in which that specific visual attribute of the dancer's body is really highlighted. Contemporary dance does not give such an importance to this, and does even reject it in some of its creative proposals or ideological trends.

Being thin is not a need for being agile neither. I can tell you from my own experience that I have had dance colleagues that were really overweighed and had more acrobatic skills than the rest of the group. Though, that is not a rule either, and the most common thing is that if you have a healthy body weight, you will also have a better domain of your physical abilities.

You should not feel restricted to dance if you are a little overweighed. Once you start, you will see that the main sense of dance is MOVEMENT; not the body, nor stereotyped images.

Art has commercial needs indeed, and therefore you might feel that having the body of marketing is a requirement to join contemporary dance professionally. Somehow that is true, but art also has its ways to win those kinds of battles. If you intend to practice as an amateur, you should absolutely not worry about this matter.

If you decide to assume practices that lead you to loose some of your extra weight that will be great for your health. But be sure that the aesthetical demands of contemporary dance will not demand from you to be thin as an essential condition.

Wishing you the best,


Mar 24, 2011
by: Anonymous

thank q veryyyyyyyyyyy muchhhhhhhhhhhh for ur answer

Feb 18, 2015
by: Annie

In my opinion, we do not need a thin body to perform contemporary dance, but having a thin body will give you more visual appeal while performing. This is the only reason it is said that you should need a thin body to dance.

Jul 18, 2015
by: Jahnavi

thank you so much Maria.:)

Jan 26, 2016
Thin body
by: Anonymous

In comment to what Annie said, I don't think that's true, your weight or any other attribute to your physical characteristics, shouldn't matter unless it keeps you from dancing. What is visually appealing is how well your body moves to whatever your dancing too. That's what people come to see and that's why people become dancers, for the dancing.

Feb 15, 2016
too young
by: Anonymous

I would love to start contemporary dance but I'm only 11 can I start dancing at a young age because a lot of dancers that I've seen are in there teens I know that if I were to start dancing I would need all of the shoes clothes Ext.I have had no training before or any lessons on dance or gym apart from a gym lesson when I was 5-6 but I struggled a bit as I was one of the young ones so if I want to start dancing what should I do at such a young age

Feb 15, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Hi there,

Yes, you can start dancing contemporary if you’re eleven. But you should take classes of a beginner’s level. Ask your teacher for advice and follow a regular process.

Dec 07, 2016
Physical factors in dancing.
by: Anonymous

(Female)(currently 13 soon to be 14 years old)

So to start off the list, first of all I'm definitely not flexible at all. Second, I'm not exactly tall(maybe only 5ft) and I'm pretty sure I'm never gonna grow again( trust me I've been trying.) Third, I'm not skinny. I'm unmistakably healthy, even though I barely even want to eat. Can I still dance?

Dec 07, 2016
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Yes. You can dance. But you will only know what you can achieve if you try.

Feb 26, 2017
Thank you
by: Anonymous

I really want to do contemporary dance, with all of my heart, but im overweight, so it scared me a lot. I constantly thought i could never do it, that everyone would reject me because im 14 and overweight. but now i don't fear it as much, so i would like to say thank you, and i hope i meet people like you when i start *which should be the beginning of next school year* My parents are supportive of it, and i'm really happy about this, so thank you.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Dance Questions.

Enjoy this page? You can pay it forward easily. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.


The Dance Thinker is our occasional E-zine. Fill in the form below to receive it for free and join us.


"The Dance Thinker"

Post contemporary dance announcements (workshops, auditions, performances, meetings and important news... it is free.)