A 19-year-old ballerina from Delaware challenges people’s idea of what a dancer should look like as she defies stereotypes by being herself and doing her thing in her own, unique way.
Lizzy Howell has been dancing since she was five, and has performed in prestigious events all over the globe, including Eurovision 2019.
Through her dancing, Howell has won numerous scholarships and hones her skills in different avenues of dancing, training up to four hours each and every day.
Her dance journey was documented on video and shared by Jordan Matter Photography as part of his “Unstoppable” series, and has since inspired thousands.
The reputable photographer perfectly captured Howell’s incredible talent, as well as her clear love for the art.
Despite her undeniable talent, Howell had been a target for bullies due to her size.
“I don’t think it’s right for people to judge off of one thing,” Howell said in a video.
Howell’s weight gain was triggered when her mother passed away when she was only five years old.
Her aunt, Linda Grabowski, took her in and supported her as she began her dance lessons.
On top of that, Howell was diagnosed with a condition called Pseudotumor cerebri, that could cause blindness if let uncontrolled.
“Dance is her outlet for all her emotions, good and bad,” said Grabowski.
“She persevered. She wanted to drop out many many times.”
Bullied since she was six, Howell had constantly pushed through to her dreams, taking classes four times a week for ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance as well as participating in shows and performances.
“Most dancers are skinny, and I’m not,” said Howell. 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.”