But, in case anyone needed one final reminder, dancer Lizzy Howell is here to set the record straight.
When the 15-year-old posted a video of herself twirling in class over six weeks ago, she thought nothing of it—just another day in class. However, when Twitter user @sailorfemme shared it over the weekend, it started to go viral—leaving thousands to retweet, regram, and praise the young ballerina for her seriously impressive balance and strength.
In the short video, which now has almost 160,000 views, Howell effortlessly does 11 fouettés in a row before ending the sequence with a series of pirouettes. And while she’s grateful for the opportunity to be a source of inspiration, Howell never meant it as a statement of body diversity—or to prove herself as a “plus-sized dancer.”
“It shouldn’t matter how much I weigh. The only thing that should matter is my passion for dance.”
“I do not like when people say, ‘Oh my gosh I can’t believe she’s better than me!'” the Delaware native explained to Daily Mail. “That implies that plus-sized people can’t dance, and it makes me feel self-conscious—it shouldn’t matter how much I weigh. The only thing that should matter is my passion for dance.”
When asked what she would say to other girls who feel blocked by stereotypes, Howell says: “You will have to work twice as hard for everything that everyone else gets, but it will be worth it in the long run to prove the ‘haters’ wrong.” (Seriously, someone get this girl a mic.)
At 15, Howell’s already got some major life lessons on lock—proving that age (and size) is just a number. To see her seriously impressive moves, keep reading.