Meet Lizzy Howell, the incredible 15-year-old who is doing what she loves – and breaking down body barriers while she’s doing it.
The Delaware teenager has become an internet sensation after an Instagram video of her being an absolute ballet boss struck a chord with people everywhere.
Lizzy is seen performing a fouetté, with the viral vid seeing her gain almost 40,000 inspired social media followers.
For Lizzy, who started dancing when she was just five, it’s been a battle against critics who said she should quit ballet because of her weight.
“My previous dance teacher would tell me that unless I lost weight, I would have the same roles in the Nutcracker for the rest of my life, because the costumes wouldn’t fit me,” Lizzy told People.
“At my current studio, they work with me, to give me a part I can not only handle, but that they can make a costume for.”
Lizzy admits she can’t imagine life without ballet – especially as it helps her with anxiety and mood swings she suffers from the medication she takes to manage her pseudotumor cerebri, a condition causing excess fluid around the brain.
"It feels good to represent the diversity in dance," Lizzy told Teen Vogue. "But there shouldn't need to be a diversity. We should all be equal."
"There's been some people who have told me to choose a different career path, and I've thought about quitting multiple times. Then I had to think, should I let these people stop me from doing what I love?"