Of the handful of people in real life who know I do ballet (seriously, I could count them on one hand), 3 of them are related to me: my mom, dad, and little sister. Of the three of them, the most supportive by far has been my little sister. She is 13 years old and she is my biggest fan.
When I first told my mom that I was learning ballet, her initial reaction was something like “Why would you want to do that?! At your age? You need to focus on your real studies.” Because she doesn’t understand that it is in part because of my studies that I do ballet. I need the beauty and art balance out the math and science. You could say I do ballet because it balances me out (not sure if a pun was intended, but ballet has helped me find balance in so many ways). My dad’s initial reaction was somewhat similar to my mom’s, though a lot calmer because he’s just a more laid back guy like that compared to mom.
It was my sister who said “Really, you’re doing ballet? That’s awesome! Is it hard? Is it fun?Do you love it?” All like that in a flurry of excitement so common to young people. And I said “Yes, yes, and I totally love it!” So now whenever I visit, after I’ve helped her with her regular school work, I can show her the latest ballet moves I’ve been working on. I am so grateful for her support and encouragement and just simply for not implying that I’m just wasting my time as others have. When I was growing up I always wished I had a big sister to look up to. I hope that I do a good job of filling out the big sister shoes. I really want to be a positive role model for her.
Like me, my sister did not get the chance to do ballet as a young kid. The reasons that my mom used to not let me do ballet are the same reasons my sister hasn’t gotten to try it: we were both told that we are too heavy, and it’s too expensive. Luckily for me, I am now an adult who doesn’t live with my mom, so I lost some weight and started ballet. Unfortunately for my sister, she still lives with her, so if she is interested in trying it (as she’s said she is) she will have to wait a few years. In the meantime, she cheers me on, and that makes me happy, though I really wish I could do more for my sister.
My sister is 13 years old and close to 100 pounds overweight. Our mom raised us on plenty things that are fried, lots of animal products, and especially lots of carbs. I grew up thinking that being overweight was in my genes, until I realized that I could change my lifestyle and eating habits. I know my sister could have a better childhood if she could eat healthier but I also kno w that as long as she is a minor and under my mom’s roof, the chance of this happening are not too good. She is upset about her weight, but I feel powerless to help her.