Dance and Body Image: Developing a Positive and Supportive Studio Environment
In this episode of the Dance Studio 411 podcast, we sit down to have a very frank, open conversation with Amelia Fazio to discuss dance and body image and how you can develop a positive and supportive dance studio environment.

The goal of this episode is to keep it real and we hope this outlines how important body positivity and positive language practices are to your studio. We can’t wait for you to listen to this episode with Amelia because her passion shines through in all she does. We hope this conversation inspires you to create a studio environment where everybody feels welcome!

Every one of the children that steps foot in your classroom should learn to love their body for what it is every single day in the classroom and on stage.

I’m willing to bet that if you change one thing, other things will follow. And before you know it, your entire staff will have this mentality around reframing a conversation to help your students have a very, very healthy body image.

Amelia Fazio

Key Takeaways

[3:02] Amelia shares her story and how her love of dance began with the Nutcracker! She speaks about her professional career as a dancer and how she came to end up in the dance costuming end of the business.

[5:18] Amelia discusses coming back to the studio after an injury and how words that were spoken to her that day changed the direction of her career.

[11:53] The concept of body positivity stared in the 1960s.

[12:40] Every one of the children that steps foot in your classroom should learn to love their body for what it is every single day in the classroom and on stage.

[13:59] Some studies show that as many as one in five children stop participating in an extracurricular activity like dance because of body insecurity and feeling like they’re forced out of that activity either by how they feel about themselves or the image that they have of themselves or by the words or actions of their peers or teachers.

[15:58] Body positivity starts at the top down. The studio owner is such an important piece to ensure all of your staff uses the proper language and starts to reinforce the positive language.

[18:19] The first step is to be very aware so you can create an environment where everybody feels welcome and everybody feels extremely comfortable in their own skin and certainly in their dance costumes.

[18:52] Start these positive conversations at the very beginning of the season. Use this costume preference worksheet to help start the conversation and to dig deeper into how your dancers want to feel.

[22:39] Amelia is an advocate of dress code because uniformity has been shown to help with body image.

[23:25] Having students feel good in their class uniform is a great retention strategy! It keeps them coming back to class.

[25:44] The costume should augment the artistic element of the dance.

[26:59] Amelia shares her best sizing tips to help make everyone feel comfortable.

[29:58] The costumes are selected, the sizing and measurements complete… Amelia discusses what’s next — the costume try-on days.

[35:01] Amelia shares her best tips to make your dancers look and feel wonderful for picture days!

[38:13] We close out the podcast with final words from Amelia on body-positive language and how you can make a positive difference is a student’s life by the words we use and how we make them feel!

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About Our Guest:
Amelia Fazio

Amelia Fazio

Amelia Fazio joined Revolution in 2021 after spending a lifetime in the world of dance. Amelia was a serious dancer and began dancing at the East Coast Dance Theatre under the direction of Erika Rappa in Brevard County, Florida at the age of 5. That studio remained a formative part of her love of dance, as it was the company that produced the first ballet Amelia saw, The Nutcracker. She was immediately hooked! She then had the privilege of studying with Ellen Fox and some of the greats in the dance industry including Marat Daukayev, Maya Plisetskaya, and Dudley Williams along with Pavel Fomin and Sasha Yapparov at the Sarasota Ballet and David Keener and Petrus Bosman at the Virginia School of the Arts.

After her dance career ended, Amelia attended the University of South Florida and graduated with a B.A. in Public Communications. She combined her love of dance and support of the arts and started her career working for several Atlanta area arts nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining Revolution, Amelia worked for apparel wholesalers and a global textile fair and in 2012, joined the staff of Curtain Call Costumes where she found her niche in dance costuming and apparel. She specializes in consultative sales and has a true passion for understanding the needs of the dance studio owner.

Amelia occasionally guest teaches and choreographs for studios in the Atlanta area and in her spare time, she loves to garden and hike our national parks. Amelia has been married to her husband Bryan since 2009 and they love to take walks with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lady Biscuit. Amelia is thrilled that her career path combined her love of dance with her passion for business and she hopes to continue improving our industry long into the future.

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