Watching this series and reading Mia’s interview today will make you want to be a part of Big Ballet. We do that every time we model the same passion for life and self acceptance that these dancers demonstrate, but we can do even more by donating to their costume fund for their August performance of highlights of The Nutcracker Story. Carol’s description on the Go Fund Me page makes you realize that this is not some slickly packaged corporate marketing campaign. Instead, these are real dancers with full time day jobs who are turning a dream into a reality, and it’s exciting that we can join them in this dream from the very beginning!
I must admit I was a bit skeptical about the UK series Big Ballet when I first learned of it. I worried that they would make just another silly reality show and not truly focus on the women and dancing. However, after watching the show and interviewing Carol Hartley, one of the 18 dancers in the series, my mind was completely changed. It was wonderful to see Carol, a large-busted woman, dancing her heart out, and learning about her journey was a pleasure.
Carol, a married mother of a 12 year old son, was always a dancer, but she didnâ€™t join our busty sisterhood until she got pregnant with her son.Â It is always interesting to me to hear how other women with large breasts reacted when they started realizing their boobs were continuing to grow above â€œaverage sizeâ€.Â For me, it was something along the lines of â€œYou’ve got to be bleeping kidding me!” Â Mine grew at a steady pace after I hit puberty and just didnâ€™t stop growing.Â Carol, on the other hand, grew from a 34B before pregnancy to a 40H after.Â Before Big Ballet she was a 38F and is now a 36G.Â Certainly not something she predicted.
I am sure that many of us have had difficulty loving our bodies, big bust and all.Â For Carol, connecting with dancing again, working with, not around, her body boosted her confidence.Â Big Ballet made sure that the women had costumes that accented their assets.Â Dresses were designed with high backs and wide shoulders so that bras could be worn but were adorned with all of the feathers and bling that youâ€™d expect from a professional production of Swan Lake.Â And professional it was!Â You’ve got to watch the final episode to see the proof that these women worked their butts off!Â Carolâ€™s solo is a highlight.
Even though I was paying close attention to clothing and bra fit, I was more interested in their journey.Â Something that I struggle with as a big busted mother is making sure that my daughter doesnâ€™t see or hear me criticize my own body.Â I know from past experience that all it takes is frowning at my reflection in the mirror for her to notice my reaction to what I see.Â I applaud Carol and the other Big Ballet dancers for putting themselves out there and not holding back the emotional side of it. Â Everyone around Carol, including her husband and coworkers, noticed a certain poise and confidence creep into her step. Â Watching them go from being a little unsteady on their feet and unsure of themselves to dancing across that stage, heads held high, was inspiring. Â Swans, indeed!
We are always being looked at and judged by just a glance.Â People see our large busts and immediately make assumptions about our personalities or physical capabilities.Â I kept myself from certain physical activities because I fed into it.Â Sometimes we have to prove to ourselves we can do it before we can prove it to others.Â Now I say to those surprised that a 32J is running half marathons, â€œDon’t judge me by what my body looks like, judge me by what my body can DO.”
Big Ballet changed the dancers and in turn is changing public opinion. Carol said that “Since the program has aired in the UK, a few dancewear shops have picked up on the gap in the market and are now selling leotards for bigger bodies and boobs!” Carol is not finished yet. “Eleven of the original group are now working with ex-soloist of the English National Ballet, Daniel Jones, and he is training us and choreographing an exciting performance in London in August! Follow our continuing journey on Twitter and Facebook. We’re called Big Ballet UK!”