Ex-dancers describe body-shaming at top ballet schools
By Mark Daly
A BBC Panorama & File on 4 investigation
Former dancers have said there is a long-running "toxic" culture of body-shaming and bullying at two of the UK's most prestigious ballet schools.
The BBC has spoken to more than 50 ex-students of the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet School who attended between 2004 and 2022.
Many described developing eating disorders, while some said they had been left with mental health problems.
Both schools dispute the accounts given to the BBC.
Every year, hundreds of the UK's most talented children audition for one of the big vocational ballet schools, dreaming of a career on the stage.
Only the best are chosen and proud parents hand over their children, as young as 11, to live and train at the fee-paying schools to pursue their dreams.
The Royal Ballet School in London is one of the world's most celebrated, and has produced a string of famous dancers including Dame Margot Fonteyn and Dame Darcey Bussell. King Charles is its president.