What would you do if the world told you not to chase your dreams?

When the dance community told 16-year-old dancer Lizzy Howell to stop pursuing her love of dance because she wasn’t ‘thin enough,’ she just straightened her shoulders, smiled, and said “They don’t know me.” Then, with help from famous Jordan Matter Photography’s latest video series, “Unstoppable,” she told us her story and reminded us that all bodies are good bodies. 

The fouetté turns that made Lizzy’s dancing go viral obviously require great strength and balance to execute. Strength and balance are equally present in Lizzy’s ability to handle her fame with grace and humility, while still giving herself absolute permission to take up space and to dazzle with her dancing. It’s no wonder so many people have been inspired by her perseverance and positive attitude. One fan comments:

YOU ARE SOOOOOO AMAZING, i love your attitude … I quit dancing also because of weight issues and people being mean … You have just inspired me to dance again and really just NOT give a [damn] about peoples rude opinions…

Another writes:

She is an inspiration to anyone who thinks they can’t do something!

Sitting here very seriously thinking about putting on our dance shoes again, we have to agree! Here is a young woman who is exceedingly confident in what her body can do and she’s not going to let anyone stop her from doing it. Not random internet haters and not dance industry critics and cynics either. Lizzy has made it clear that she’s gonna keep on doing her thing no matter what anyone else says. At the same time, she acknowledges that the negative comments she receives about her body do have an effect on her and they do sometimes hurt her feelings. She doesn’t hold onto that hurt, though.

First, Lizzy reminds us, without judgement, to be careful of what we say about other people online for the sake of a joke and to be aware of the impact that our words have on other people. Then, she fouettés that pain right on outta here! She describes dancing as a therapeutic activity for her— something to turn to when she’s feeling down. It’s clear that nasty comments from “haters” who don’t think she should dance just inspire her to dance more! As many, many fans said in the comments,

“You go, girl!”

What would you do if the world told you not to chase your dreams? What would you do if Lizzy Howell told you to do it anyway? Would you dance like no-one was watching?