British Show Big Ballet Aims to Encourage Bigger Girls to Keep Dancing


A former dancer for the Royal Ballet is launching a British TV series called Big Ballet aimed at encouraging larger dancers, which is something you just don’t hear enough of (unless you’re re-watching the now-defunct Bunheads, unwilling to accept ABC Family’s capricious decision-making process).

Wayne Sleep, now the UK’s Education Secretary, recently told the Telegraph that his new show, Big Ballet, will show young dancers that they shouldn’t be dissuaded from dance simply because of their physical shape. Take Sleep, for instance, who, not unlike Carl Cramer (if we stop talking about Bunheads, who will keep the memory alive?), was told that he was too short to dance. Ha! Too short? Poppycock — Sleep went on to become a famous dancer, so thankyouverymuch predeterminism, but Wayne Sleep will have none of you.

The ballet vet did, however, have to learn himself a lesson in appropriate dialogue with his troupe of aspiring dancers:

I said ‘fat’ to start with, but, by God, did I get a bad response from my girls, so I said: “Lets clear up this situation. You are in this show because you’re big; there are other people who were big who applied, but they weren’t big enough to get onto this show – think how they feel.”

Er, good effort, I guess? Other than its focus on body image, Big Ballet sounds like your average talent competition show, and will lead to 18 dancers being selected to perform a 25-minute version of Swan Lake that Sleep will choreograph.


Image via Getty

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