Monday, December 31, 2012

Ballerina opens up about body image and the dangerous ballet 'Ideal'

In her debut book The Healing Dance, former National Ballet of Canada company dancer, three-time DORA award-winning choreographer and certified psychotherapist Kathleen Rea pulls back the stage curtain and reveals a history of anorexia, bulimia and self-harm that plagues so many professional ballerinas, who introduce potentially life-threatening 'ideals' to young minds who look up to them as the epitome of elegance, beauty and control.

Says Rea: "The strict rules of ballet instantly resonated with me as a child because they provided a set of ideals to reach for—a magical recipe that promised to make everything right. But my world of perfect pliés and pretty pirouettes quickly collapsed. Starvation was not only accepted -- but encouraged -- by my employers."

In The Healing Dance Rea discusses:

  • The harrowing, self-sacrificial world of professional ballet - and why parents may need to be more careful about what influences they unwittingly introduce their children to
  • Her path to recovery - including being fired by the National Ballet of Canada and being called an 'embarrassment' to her country for going on stage with a bigger-but-still-medically-malnourished BMI
  • Young women and the body image issue, and how we can begin to help them escape its clutches
  • What signs to watch for if you suspect a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, and what steps you can take to help them on the road to recovery
  • What expressive arts therapy is, and what brought her to the pursuit and mastery of it

About the Author:

Kathleen Rea is a former National Ballet of Canada company dancer, Dora award-winning choreographer and certified psychotherapist. She holds a diploma in expressive art therapy from ISIS-Canada, a certificate in psychology from Ryerson University and a master's degree in expressive arts therapy with a minor in psychology from the European Graduate School. A practicing therapist for the past twelve years, she is also a therapeutic performance facilitator, helping people express their life stories through multidisciplinary performance.
Kathleen has taught dance therapy, dance improvisation, and contact dance at York University, George Brown College, and Niagara College, and choreographed over forty works for her company, REAson d'etre dance productions, and other organizations. Her award winning dance film, Lapinthrope, aired on Bravo Television and screened at numerous international festivals. Her production Long Live was nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore awards, including outstanding choreography. In 2010, Kathleen was co-winner of the K. M. Hunter Dance Award

The Healing Dance is available in all major online retailers and select major and independent bookstores across North America.

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