Linda Barclay, cofounder everactiv Talks to Dancer from the Scottish National Ballet, Xolisweh Ana Richards for International Women’s Day
In this part of the interview Xolisweh talks about how she got started in ballet, about how her childhood was filled doing sport. Along with her siblings she enjoyed doing athletics, swimming, gymnastics, dancing and marital arts. At the age of 11 she left home to attend Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham “My mom said, do you want to go to a school where you can dance everyday and I thought that sounded like the most amazing thing to do."
She discusses how she deals with performance jitters, how she contains her emotions on stage, pre-performance routine, training, coping with coronavirus lockdown; how it impacted her motivation and mental state and she provides advice to young athletes who are struggling during lockdown.
Click link to listen to part one of the interview:
Xolisweh gets very honest about her early teenage years and the pressure to look a certain way, stereotypes around the “ideal dancers body”, how she was meant to feel bad about not having an eating disorder as a young teen and how she developed, and hid, her eating disorder during her late teens. She says, “Ballet has a reputation for eating disorders, it’s not a lie. I felt guilty for not having an eating disorder when I was a young teen. Everyone else has the “mental strength” to have one so what is wrong with me? Getting out of that mind-set took so much work.
Xolisweh and Linda really delve into the challenges she faced through her teenage year, including in her late teens when she became bulimic.
You can follow Xolisweh on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xolisweh/?hl=en
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