A size eight dancer who has overcome an eating disorder claims that she was fired from her job in a hotel in Marrakesh because she was & # 39; too fat & # 39; used to be.
Elena Smith said that after just one week, she was fired from her new job in Morocco when performing dance sets at events in a chic hotel.
But the 9th dancer was destroyed after being fired and claims that her manager encouraged her to lose weight.
The 23-year-old, who trains daily and eats healthily, said the comments almost derailed her due to an eating disorder with & # 39; starving and overeating & # 39; which she conquered earlier this year.
She has spoken out to draw attention to the pressure on women who work in the dance industry.
Elena Smith in one of her dance costumes in Marrakech (left). She said she was fired from her job as a dancer in a hotel in Morocco because she was & # 39; too fat & # 39; used to be
Mrs. Smith was excited to start her new job, but remained devastated when her manager urged her to lose weight
Mrs. Smith, from Epsom, Surrey, said: & My manager told me that the bosses at the hotel had complained that I was too fat and that they were thinking of firing me.
& # 39; I was completely shocked. Since I arrived in Marrakech, I had already lost weight due to training, so it was really surprising to hear that they thought I was too fat.
& # 39; I explained that I went to the gym every day to eat healthily and that I knew my own body so I couldn't do anything more, but they just told me that I needed to find a way to lose weight .
& # 39; I received my last wage and told that the bosses no longer wanted me because I was too fat.
& # 39; This is a look-based industry that makes people fat, but many people, especially young girls, in this industry are vulnerable and suffer greatly from eating disorders, anxiety and depression.
& # 39; Focus on weight and body size as in the executive industry can have a & # 39; n long-term harmful effect on people, both physically and mentally. & # 39;
Elena applied for a job in April 2019 by sending photos and videos of herself and participating in a FaceTime interview, she said.
She was given the task of performing in a dinner and show with other dancers for hotel guests in Marrakesh, and flew to the team in June 2019.
Elena Smith is pictured in Marrakesh in July 2019, the week she was fired. Earlier this year, the dancer had an eating disorder & # 39; starving and then eats & # 39; overcome
Her task was to play between short sets in different styles, including commercial, contemporary and jazz.
Elena was hired to work from June 2019 to January 2020, but was fired in August 2019, she said.
She said: “I felt really self-conscious about my weight and how my body looked, and they put me under extreme pressure when they told me to lose weight as quickly as possible.
& # 39; My manager said she would fight for me so I didn't have to leave, and I managed to lose another 2 kg in a week, but when I went the following Saturday, I was told that I that didn't have a job.
& # 39; They wouldn't even pay for my flight home, although my contract said they would, so I had to ask my father to book them for me. & # 39;
Elena first encountered body shaming in the industry during her training as a professional dancer when she was a teenager.
After enjoying drama clubs at school, she studied dance at the Brit School before studying dance and music theater at The Center PAC at the age of 18.
Mrs. Smith overcame an eating disorder and started dancing in Marrakesh, but despite being a size eight, she was fired because she was # & # 39; too fat & # 39; used to be
Elena said that constant control led her to develop EDNOS.
Eating Disorder (EDNOS), not otherwise specified, is the diagnosis made for patients who have symptoms that do not meet the exact criteria for anorexia, bulimia, ARFID, or eating disorder.
Elena was officially diagnosed with EDNOS in November 2018, when she weighed eight stones.
Elena said: & # 39; When I was training, I was weighed a lot and constantly got the feeling that I was worried about my body size and weight.
& # 39; Teachers would focus more on how much you weighed about how fit you were, and would essentially tell you if you arrived.
& # 39; I felt a lot of pressure to lose weight during training, so I became obsessed with dropping the pounds & # 39; s.
& # 39; By the end of my first year at The Center PAC, I was very underweight and would always ensure that I ate less than 1,000 calories a day.
& # 39; By the third year I had developed EDNOS because I & # 39; normal & could not eat anymore.
& # 39; I would starve myself as long as I could and then I would eventually start bingeing, so it was a vicious circle of losing weight and arriving.
The hotel where Mrs. Smith worked said she & # 39; very surprised & # 39; were by her claims and said she decided to leave – a suggestion that the dancer disputes
& # 39; Since then I have tried to fight it myself, but at the end of last year I got so frightened that I finally took the steps to get help.
& # 39; I completed an eight-week cognitive-behavioral therapy course for eating disorders and anxiety in March 2019 and learned tools to fight EDNOS … & # 39;
While her weight dropped to around 8 pounds 10 during her hotel job, she is now back to a healthy and happy 9th.
She is now recovering from her eating disorder, but the trauma of losing her job due to her weight has made it challenging over the past month, she said.
Fortunately, she had a strong support network of friends and family to help her after she was fired, so she didn't fall back into old habits.
Elena now wants to focus attention on body shaming in the executive industry and put an end to dancers being fired because of their weight.
Mrs. Smith in a rock pool in Morocco before being abruptly fired by her manager
She said: “I have never had any problems with eating or exercising or what my body looked like until I started training to become a dancer and was constantly weighed.
& # 39; It is definitely a pressure that comes with being in the executive industry.
& # 39; I remember participating in one audition where a panel told a group of us that one of the reasons we were cut was due to our body.
& # 39; Audition advertisements sometimes display heights and clothing sizes because they can fit into their current costumes.
& # 39; I am a pretty strong person with a lot of love from family and friends, so I managed to stay strong and focused after being fired for my weight, but for many girls this could easily have caused them another eating disorder or a state of anxiety and depression. & # 39;
A spokesperson for the hotel – which we didn't mention – said she & # 39; very surprised & # 39; were by Elena's claims and said she decided to leave – a claim that the dancer disputes.
She added: & # 39; It was her manager who informed us afterwards and received the value of the flight ticket from our finance department. & # 39;
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