When you picture a ballerina, you may not picture someone who looks like Lizzy Howell. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Howell is busting stereotypes and challenging people’s ideas of what a dancer should look like just by being herself and doing her thing in her own body. The now-19-year-old from Delaware has been dancing since she was five and has performed in venues around the world, including Eurovision 2019. She has won scholarships and trains up to four hours a day to perfect her skills in various styles of dance.
Jordan Matter Photography shared a documentary video about Howell on Facebook—part of his “Unstoppable” series—that has inspired thousands. In it, we get to see Howell’s impressive moves and clear love of the art form. Howell shares parts of her life story, including the loss of her mother in a car accident when she was little and how she was raised by a supportive aunt who helped her pursue her dance ambitions. She also explained how she’s had to deal with hate comments and bullying from people who judge her based on her appearance.
“I don’t think it’s right for people to judge off of one thing,” Howell says in the video. And she’s right—her size is just one thing.
Howell shares that she’s been bullied in dance since she was six, and how it still happens when she goes to dance conventions. She sees people staring at her and whispering about her, but she says the successes she’s had in dance and reassurances from other people keep her going.
“Most dancers are skinny, and I’m not,” Howell says. “I think a lot of people can relate to me in that sort of way. They see me as an inspiration because I’ve been told I’ve been told to quit dance multiple times and I haven’t.”
“Dance is what I love and it’s everything to me,” she says. “So I think that just keeps me going.”
Original publication 20 October, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 3rd November 2020
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