Ballet is not ‘one size fits all’ as proven by inspiring teen (VIDEO)

Show this video of 15-year-old ballerina Lizzie Howell breaking body stereotypes to your daughter right now!

Aleksandra Jankovic | Stocksy United

When we hear the term ballerina, we typically picture someone with long, lean limbs and a slender figure devoid of curves. A determined teen in Philadelphia, however, is reversing that stereotype and wowing people everywhere. Lizzie Howell, a plus-size high school sophomore, has been performing ballet since she was five.

“I enjoy the emotional release it gives me,” she explained in a People article. “If I had a good day, I go to dance. If I had a bad day, I go to dance.”

Although, thankfully, she’s now practicing at a studio that supports and encourages her despite her atypical dancer figure, Howell is not unfamiliar with the sting of criticism. “My previous dance teacher would tell me that unless I lost weight, I would have the same roles in The Nutcracker for the rest of my life, because the costumes wouldn’t fit me,” she said. It’s inspiring, to say the least, to know that a 15-year-old stayed strong in her passion despite such disparagement.

turning monday¿ #ballet#turn#balletdancer#dancer#foutte

A video posted by Lizzy 🤘🏼 (@lizzy.dances) on

That’s not the only pain that Howell has overcome, though. Sadly, her mother passed away when she was a little girl. Additionally, she suffers from a medical condition requiring her to undergo periodic spinal taps, according to Fox News, as well as take a large amount of different medications. In addition to that, she struggles with anxiety. “I get anxious about the smallest things in life,” she admitted to People. Her response when anxiety strikes at home is to “clear out the living room and just dance.” Not a bad idea for even the non-ballerinas among us, right?

Although it was a video of her doing graceful pirouettes that brought her so much Internet popularity, Howell performs a variety of different types of dance. “I do tap, jazz, contemporary and a variation class,” she said. Her favorite, she revealed, is tap. She’s recently accepted into the Joffrey Tap Intensive in Miami, a week-long program that selects young dancers from across the country to experience the evolution of tap throughout history.

As a mother, Howell’s story brings me confidence in knowing that children, despite their vulnerability, are capable of courageously pursuing things they love, even if they don’t necessarily look the part. As a woman, she provides empowerment because although self-criticism often comes so naturally, I’ve been blessed with a body and mind that are more than capable of doing the things I love. If a 15-year-old can live out that truth, then the rest of us can, too.

Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi is a New York-born, Virginia-raised, Ohio-dwelling freelancer. She spends her days laughing, learning and running her way through life with her superstar spouse and their charmingly passionate one-year-old.

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