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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

I am by no means skinny. I’ve talked about plus size stuff before. It is no surprise that I would find another plus size topic. Dance.

What do you picture when you think ballet?

It’s probably something like that. I can’t blame you, I have the same instinct. A very skinny and strong girl in a white tutu. It’s classic.

Please allow me to inform you that I am by no means that. If you are, that’s great, you’ve worked hard to be in that place. I’ve worked hard to be in mine.

I try to be healthy. I have a trampoline. I dance around my room every night, which also relieves stress. I try to eat healthily.

And I am in a ballet class this semester.

I have taken ballet for years. And I love it. It makes me feel graceful, most of the time.

But that was in a local dance studio, and I wasn’t that serious about it. This class is with a very well known dancer that has been in several nationally acknowledged dance companies. And I’m also doing this for a grade.

The first problem that I faced is that girls are supposed to wear tights and leotards. Can you see where I hold issue with this? I have gotten to a better place with loving my body, but I am not ready to rock tights and leotards. That’s just me. I’m self-conscious about my rolls and stretch marks. My butt and chest look big enough, I don’t exactly don’t want to wear something skin tight in a room full of mirrors.

I wear leggings and too big shirts. Basically what the guys have to wear. But I’m more comfortable like that. It hides my stomach and covers my butt. And my professor is good with it. Always ask before you go against dress code. It’s there to make sure that you stay safe.

This doesn’t have to do with being plus size, but I’m going to mention it anyway. I have very big, very curly hair. It is required that every female dancer wear a tight bun that is slicked back. No frizz. Quick tip to get this look: a thousand bobby pins, vaseline, and super strong hold hairspray. And wake up twenty minutes early.

There is something that my professor makes us do, which is floor barre and ab series. These are meant to strengthen your core and help with your turn out. My core is protected by a layer of fat. I don’t know what she is thinking when she announced that we would have abs and be able to do a flat split by the end of the semester.

The thing with being a plus sized girl in a ballet class is being comfortable with you. I can’t hold my leg at waist level to do side barre so I use a chair, which was approved. There are a lot of short girls in my class that have to do the same thing. I don’t feel comfortable in what most of the girls are wearing, so I ask if I can wear what makes me comfortable. I can’t always hold my legs up for floor barre and ab series, so I drop them, catch my breath and keep going.

I try just as hard as everyone else in my class. And it’s a class that I look forward to.

It’s helping me build my confidence in myself and helping me to get healthier.