Are you grossly overweight? Now you can join a dance company to lose some pounds and raise your self-esteem. That's the spirit behind Cuba's "Danza Voluminosa" troupe of obese dancers. Members have overcome ridicule to earn applause for their feisty performances that mix traditional ballet and contemporary dance. No fancy leaps and bounds or mid-air splits here as the dancers thump across the stage stressing boards under their weight. But still, there is beauty and grace in their choreographies that deal with the psychological toll of obesity. Not only are they burning loads of fat, but in turn finding their Body Warranty by pushing their bodies beyond the limit.  The company now consists of eight dancers –all over 200 pounds– has become a cultural phenomenon in Cuba since it was formed a decade ago, crushing dance stereotypes all the while removing prejudices about fat people. The dancers, aged 25 to 44, say it has improved their self-esteem and their health. They perform three galas a year that now include slim professional dancers.  Maybe more cities and countries should look into troupes like this, we know not everyone can be slim and trim on the dance floor, but everyone should be able to feel beautiful while improving their health.


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