Well Kevin i rather agree with most of what you have to say.In fact i was just going to write exactly the same first paragraph- if the human body can accomplish it , it can't be "unnatural".
I put on a pair of pointe shoes once. For about a minute. I'm in no way denying the amount of physical & psychological damage a ballet dancer can do do herself.Remember my original objection was to ballet being classified as "soft".
At least there is not quite so much of the self-starvation, still there, no doubt ,but many ballet schools encourage proper nutrition.
I have found dancers for the most part not very interested in sports.OK so i do martial arts. And one friend of mine is now climbing competitively instead of dancing.one of my partners runs ten miles, every day, on pavement, barefoot.personally ,across the stage is as far as i want to run.
i've already mentioned the corrections i continually have to make in my hamni, my stance in tai chi and walking backwards in high heels.I'm also one of the only people i know who has attempted to do ballet as it was developed- in a corset. theres another list of bodily damage and deformation to compile...
The dojo i train at is inside a ballet school. i've noticed that as a dancer, i have a very close relationship with the mirrors in the studio. however, even tho the dojo is fully mirrored,, while i am training aikido or tai chi, the mirror does not exist.just an observation i wanted to throw in.
But yeah, ballet is one of the easiest ways i know of to trash our bodies. But it was our choice.And if my ribs are sometimes sore in damp weather ( hairline fractures from being lifted repeatedly), i'm sure my aikido shoulder will also make its presence known to me for many years to come....