For decades, society has made us believe that only those who have superslim body types can become ballerinas, but this viral ballet video is showing young girls everywhere that you do not have to fit the stereotype to be a talented dancer.
Recently, a video posted by 15-year-old ballet dancer Lizzy Howell has sky-rocketed on Instagram, drawing in high praise from admirers around the world. In the video, Howell successfully nails a fouetté with stunning grace, but what makes this video so inspiring is the young dancer’s call for diversity in the world of ballet. As a curvy teen, Howell is breaking the status quo, proving to young girls everywhere that you do not need to be a size 0 to be a successful ballerina.
As reported by BuzzFeed News, Howell struggles with anxiety and pseudotumor cerebri (a condition resulting in excess fluid around the brain), but dancing has ultimately helped her deal with this health issue. With the help of her viral ballet video, the Delaware native has gained more than 400,000 Instagram followers and is undoubtedly making some major waves in the ballet community. For starters, Howell prefers not to be categorized as “plus size.” “If I can do everything that anyone else can, why should I be in a separate category?” she told Buzzfeed. She also recently become an ambassador for Dancing For You, a campaign spreading awareness for children with special needs. Through this campaign, Howell has shared her story in hopes of motivating others to not give up not their dreams. “Being an overweight dancer has come with [its] struggles. I have been told numerous times by teachers that I will get nowhere in the dance world if I do not lose this weight. Over the years, I have learned not to care what people think! If people want to tear you down, let them and show them that you can do it,” Howell said in a post for the campaign.
In a world where many of us go through great lengths just to take the perfect selfie (and can’t last ten minutes without glancing at our phones), Howell’s story is just the type of body-positive messages we need. We can’t wait to see more from this empowering teen.
More ballerinas breaking the mold:
- This Ballerina Danced in a Beauty Ad With No Makeup
- Meet New York City Ballet’s New Female Choreographer
- You Need to Read This Ballerina’s Instagram Post About Becoming the First Black Sugar Plum Fairy
Now, learn how this Brazilian ballerina deals with the challenges of being a ballerina of color: