Plus size dancer; Akira Armstrong has been featured in two Beyoncé music videos (Get Me Bodied and Greenlight) , but when she flew to Los Angeles in pursuit of greener pastures she couldn’t find an agent to represent her due to her size.
Talking about it in a video for The Scene, Armstrong said; “When people think about the stereotypical dancer’s body, they think [of someone] very thin, tall, long legs, long arms.”
“Growing up in a dance environment, I did feel like my body was a negative [thing],” she said. I couldn’t fit [into] costumes, and my costume was always different from everyone else’s.” Armstrong also opened up about flying to Los Angeles and going on auditions, only to feel judged based on by her body type and not given the opportunity to prove herself. Not dismayed by her experiences, she went on to create the Pretty Big Movement, a full-figured dance company that shuts down the stereotype of all dancers having thin, lithe bodies.
“After going on auditions and being told no, I wanted to create a platform for other plus-sized women to feel comfortable,” she said. She also added that she hopes the Pretty Big Movement will inspire young girls to know that they can be a part of the dance community, no matter what their size.
It looks as though Armstrong’s work is already plenty inspiring — as one Facebook user commented on The Scene’s video, “Women of all shapes and sizes should be represented on television. I want to see more from them.” Akira hopes that women seeing them perform are not only surprised, but inspired into trying things they didn’t think they could do before.
The new video telling Akira’s story and demonstrating her company’s amazing skills has already been viewed more than 2.5 million times in just one day and gained her and her company plenty of fans, watch below.
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