How ballet broke me

Frejas ballet eksamen 001.jpg
2006 (8 y/o)

When you’re a dancer, you live with the worst nightmare. The nightmare of hurting yourself. Many dancers gets past this, since every injury is different. But when you dance classical ballet, your chances are even smaller. Especially if you want to dance professionally. Your body can’t handle all the pain for long, so when you’re 40 you usually retire. This how ever means that you can still dance a little (if you’re lucky), but you can’t use your body like when you were younger. Some dancers hurts themselves so much that their body is completely damaged. Others can still use it. So that means that you have to be very carful.

When you then gets an injury you have to stop dancing for a while. And as told, every injury is different. Some dancers even gets operated, while some just have to take a break and make the body part strong again.

I went thought this three times. And as other dancers knows, it’s not just the pain in the body that hurts, it’s also the mentally pain of not being able to dance, and the fear of never getting to dance ever again.

My first exam

My first injury, was in the Achilles tendon and it was some of the worst pain ever felt. I got it, because I wasn’t lading correctly, when jumping. After a few weeks, it was all right again. But it didn’t last long, because then my right knee started to hurt. I did lots of training with it and again, it past. But one thing I forgot to think of, was that when my right knee now was so strong, it wouldn’t add up with my left knee. So that started to hurt really badly. It was mainly my own fault, because I kept dancing even though it was hurting. I went to the doctor and they said that it would be best to have a break from ballet. So I stopped dancing for a year. It was the worst year of my life. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. So I decided that I wanted to try cheerleading and rugby. And I did that for 7 months. But then after 6 months more, I decided that I needed to go to boarding school, so I did. I had music and dance. I had contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and ballet. I did it very slow and everything seemed fine. One of my teachers helped me train my left knee. So obviously when I was done, I wanted to come back for ballet. And I did.

But sometime what you love isn’t meant to stay with you. I was truly the first time I felt heart broken.

My left knee started to hurt even more, so we went to a doctor, whom specialized in dance and sports injuries for the knee. And he told me that not every body is made for dancing. And especially not this hight level ballet as I was doing. ”Ballet does something special to bodies. You’re hurting your body when you dance. If you want to still use your body, and feel good, then you have to stop dancing.” I was in chock. Basically he was telling me, the worst thing possible. My worst nightmare was happening. He then told me that I could still dance, but not as much and not as high level. Ballet fraja 12

I danced ballet for almost 10 years. I started with little, until then I did it full time. I went from 4 classes in a week, 4-5 hours every week to nothing. Ballet, point, character dance, contemporary, to nothing. I cried almost everyday. I couldn’t watch ballet at the theater anymore. I didn’t watch any movies or shows about it. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I hated myself for it.

After 1,5 year I decided to pack everything away. So I put every clothes, piece, shoes, accessories away. I took every picture and painting down. Removed every sculpture. I erased every little ballet thing from my sight. After a while it got better. But my knee never did. It’s now 3 years since I went to the doctor and my knee still hurts. I haven’t had any dance classes since. I did do a little contemporary 3 years ago, but that was at the same time as the news.

It’s now 2017 and my body is still hurting. It’s not only my knee (I’m very clumsy, so I can’t give ballet all the credit), but both legs and both feet. I wake up in the middle of the night, almost screaming because of the pain. Sometimes I wake up and I can’t move, because they’re hurting. I hope that in time I’ll get better. Not only physically but also mentally. P1030021




Unfortunately I haven’t gotten any pictures for the last few years. Mostly because that’s when the internet came and everything was on that, but then it got deleted.


These photos was taken back in 2015, one year after I was told not to dance any more.




3 thoughts on “How ballet broke me

  1. Hi Freja, I am sorry to hear about your story. I really hope you can still dance again. I think if you believe that your knees will be better there is great potential in the future. Don’t give up! Things do not come into our lives by accident. 😉 Love May xxx


    1. Thank you for the kind words May. You’re right, hard work and one day the knee will be better! And yes, I can dance a little, just not as strict and hard any more (like ballet) 😉
      Love Freja,


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