After being bullied for merely following her passion, one young dancer’s graceful moves went viral despite criticisms.

Being judged, criticized, and bullied for being overweight is something far too many of us can relate to. However, when the bullying happens in a public forum, it can be hard to rise above and stay confident. Lizzy Howell was bullied for her weight on social media, but had the last laugh after showcasing her unbelievable talent. 

Dancer’s body

Lizzy Howell has been dancing since she was in preschool. Her parents wanted her to stay active and fit in with her peers, so they put her in a variety of sports– but it was dance that stuck. Lizzy also suffers from a medical condition, pseudotumor cerebri, that can lead to seizures and horrible headaches.

Not only did she love dance, but practicing helped manage her condition and keep its more serious effects at bay. Despite the joy that dance brought to Lizzy’s life, she was often bullied for her weight in the sport by both other students and dance teachers.

I’ve been bullied in dance since I was six. It still happens when I go to conventions.

Lizzy Howell

Keeping up with Lizzy

Lizzy’s schedule is full of dance classes, from tap and ballet to jazz and contemporary. Given her busy calendar, she decided to start posting videos of her choreography on Instagram to share her passion with close family and friends. Unexpectedly, her Instagram went viral.

In one particular video, Lizzy is performing a fouetté, spinning around with a gracefulness most of us can only dream of. Her talent spread like wildfire, gaining her almost a quarter of a million Instagram followers overnight!

I just have to remember why I stick with [ballet]. I can’t imagine my life without it.

Lizzy Howell

Shattering stereotypes

People love to watch her amazing dance moves, and appreciate that she is breaking down stereotypes of what a “dancer’s body” looks like. Leveraging this newfound attention, Lizzy also advocates for Dancers with Disabilities. 

Lizzy’s passion and talent in the realm of dance is an inspiration for many. Her confidence, and the fact that she refuses to let others’ opinion of her affect her performance, is something we should all strive for.

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