In the world of ballet, female dancers have long been under pressure to maintain a tiny physique. But today HuffPost UK Lifestyle were reminded that tutus aren't only available in size zero.

Eight-strong, Cuban dance troupe 'Danza Voluminosa' weigh a combined total of more than 1,600lbs (over 200lbs per person).

A recent video report by AP (featured above) reveals more about the plus-size group's motivations:

"The most important thing is that it elevates the self-esteem of the overweight," founder Juan Miguel Mas explains. "It helps them to not be sedentary and get out and move, live, work, investigate and love their bodies, too."

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  • Members of the Cuban group Danza Voluminosa or Voluminous Dance perform the show "Crisalidas" or "Chrysalis" in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Voluminous Dance is a theater company with overweight dancers founded by dancer, choreographer and director Juan Miguel Mas. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

  • Xiomara Gonzalez, left and Maylin Daza, of the Cuban group Danza Voluminosa or Voluminous Dance, smoke cigarettes before a show in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Voluminous Dance is a theater company with overweight dancers founded by dancer, choreographer and director Juan Miguel Mas. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

  • Ana Marquetti, 43, right, member of the Cuban group Danza Voluminosa or Voluminous Dance adjusts a head scarf before a show in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. Voluminous Dance is a theater company with overweight dancers founded by dancer, choreographer and director Juan Miguel Mas. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

  • Barbara Paula, of the Cuban dance group Danza Voluminosa, or Voluminous Dance, gets her makeup done backstage before a performance at the National Theater in Havana, Cuba, Saturday Nov. 20, 2010. Danza Voluminosa presented their new performance "Freddy, a Woman Who Sings" based on the memoirs of late Cuban singer Fredesvinda Garcia and directed by Juan Miguel Mas. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)

  • Elvira Galvan, 29, weighting 91 kg (200 pounds), w

    HAVANA, CUBA: Elvira Galvan, 29, weighting 91 kg (200 pounds), works on a choreography part of a repertoire by the dance school Danza Voluminosa 31 May, 2000. Danza Voluminosa is an artistic and therapeutical concept inspired by the overweight characters featured in the art of Colombian painter Fernando Botero and meant to present the spectator with an unusual esthetic. The group was founded in Havana in 1996. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Members of the dance group Danza Voluminosa (from

    HAVANA, CUBA: Members of the dance group Danza Voluminosa (from L-R), Rubi Amaro, 33, weighting 88 kg (193 pounds), Juan Miguel Max, 35, weighting 100 kg (220 pounds), Xiomara Gonzalez, 36, weighting 89 kg (196 pounds) and Elvira Galvan, 29, hitting the scale at 91 kg (200 pounds) work on a choreography 31 May, 2000 as part of a repertoire by the dance school Danza Voluminosa, led by Max. According to Max, Danza Voluminosa is an artistic and therapeutical concept inspired by the overweight characters featured in the art of Colombian painter Fernando Botero and meant to present the spectator with an unusual esthetic. The group was founded in Havana in 1996. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO ADALBERTO ROQUE (Photo credit should read ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Members of the dance group work on a choreography

    HAVANA, CUBA: Members of the dance group work on a choreography 31 May, 2000 as part of a repertoire by the dance school Danza Voluminosa. According to Juan Miguel Max, director of the school, Danza Voluminosa is an artistic and therapeutical concept inspired by the overweight characters featured in the art of Colombian painter Fernando Botero and meant to present the spectator with an unusual esthetic. The group was founded in Havana in 1996. (Photo credit should read ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

The group, founded in 1996, have proved a hit in Cuba and even been the subject of 2004 film "Defying Gravity".

"What we are trying to do is find harmony," Juan adds. "We want to find the fulfilment of being human."

In an industry where bodies are scrutinised for the tiniest flaw, HuffPost UK Lifestyle finds their attitude to body image refreshing.

Just this year, Italian ballet dancer Mariafrancesca Garritano was sacked from La Scala after claiming that the dance company pressured dancers to lose weight.

Also on HuffPost UK Lifestyle, bloggers on body image:

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