A 15-year-old ballerina has captured hearts all over social media.
Lizzy Howell shared a video of her performing a spin around a month ago on Instagram:
A video posted by Lizzy 🤘🏼 (@lizzy.dances) on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:02pm PST
It blew up online, though, once Twitter user @sailorfemme posted it on January 15:
show 👏🏿 out👏🏿 and 👏🏿 have 👏🏿 these👏🏿girls👏🏿shook👏🏿 pic.twitter.com/yPJZPGCgPw
— nappy by nature 🌱 (@sailorfemme) January 15, 2017
The video has amassed over 140,000 views. Howell spoke to the Daily Mail about the video and her talent. She has been dancing for 10 years and trains 4 times a week.
"My video has been shared all over the world, which is a big thing for someone where I live," she said. She says that she likes being an inspiration to others, but not those implying that plus-sized people cannot dance.
Check out photos from Howell's Instagram
She also spoke to Buzzfeed News about the video, which earned her 40,000 additional followers on her Instagram. She asked, "If I can do everything that anyone else can, why should I be in a separate category?"
While she's received some cruel comments from the video, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Due to the visibility of the video, Howell is now a spokesman for Dancing for You, an awareness campaign for dancers with disabilities:
Welcome Lizzy Howell to Our Team 💗 . . I have been dancing for 10 years now and I can tell you, the dance world is a rough place! Being an over weight dancer has come with it's struggles. I have been told numerous times by teachers that I will get no where in the dance world if I do not lose this weight. Over the years, I have learned not to care what people think! If people want to tear you down, let them and show them that you can do it! This campaign means a lot to me as I have pseudo tumor cerebri, which is an excess of fluid around my brain. I have been in the hospital many times for this and I can tell you, it was rough missing dance. Not only do I suffer from pseudo tumor, but I have severe anxiety, which has caused me to go into depression. Dance has been a way to release this anxiety and make me happy. I will be going into my 8th production of the nutcracker, my 11th dance recital this year and, my 4th NYCDA convention. I haven't given up and neither should you!
A photo posted by Dancing For You® (@theofficial_dancingforyou) on Jan 13, 2017 at 5:56pm PST
She told the Daily Mail, "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...Do what you love and don't let any one stop you."