Meet Artists Defying the “Dancer Body” Stereotype

January 17, 2018

There’s a common misconception that a dancer’s body has to be thin. But the truth is that talent knows no body type, and the number on the scale never determines an artist’s capabilities. Here are some extraordinary dancers fighting the stereotype of what a dancer “should” look like.

Amanda LaCount

With her large social media following and impressive resumé, Amanda LaCount is a role model to dancers all over the world. She’s proof that artists who refuse to conform to the “traditional” dancer image can still become Capezio brand ambassadors and perform with the likes of Katy Perry. She’s used her platform to launch the inspirational hashtag #breakingthestereotype.

Cathleen Meredith

Cathleen Meredith is the creator of Fat Girls Dance Movement, a worldwide initiative aimed at breaking body image stereotypes through the power of dance. Meredith frequently features plus-size dancers in all styles, from tap to Broadway jazz to contemporary, on the Fat Girls Dance Movement’s official Instagram page.

Lizzy Howell

After a video of her doing fouettés went viral, 16-year-old Lizzy Howell soon became a role model for young plus-size dancers around the world. “It feels good to represent the diversity in dance,” Lizzy told Teen Vogue. “But there shouldn’t need to be a diversity. We should all be equal.”

Erik Cavanaugh

Speaking of viral videos: Dancer and choreographer Erik Cavanaugh has received attention for his Instagram vids, which showcase his incredible skills. His mission is “attempting to change the mind and shape of dancers”—and his tilt (or pretty much any of his moves) will blow you away.

The members of Pretty BIG Movement

Founded by Akira I. Armstrong, Pretty BIG Movement is an international hip hop, jazz, Afro and contemporary company comprised solely of full-figured dancers. The aim of the group is to show all how powerful, talented, and gorgeous dancers with curves truly are.