Think the ability to dance your a** off like a pro has anything to do with size? Think again.
Blogger and radio producer Whitney Thore started dancing when she was just four years old, and was teaching at Greensboro Dance Theatre by age 16. But she stopped dancing in college after she started experiencing inexplicable weight gain.
"Unable to face my reflection, I failed out of dance class my first semester," Thore told The Huffington Post in an email. "By the time I had graduated college, been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, moved to Korea, and gained 200 pounds, I was finally able to dance socially, at a club or party, but never dreamed I would take a class or perform publicly ever again."
But when Jared Pike, one of the hosts of the morning radio show Thore produces suggested that she make a "Fat Girl Dancing" video series, she agreed. In a recent interview, Thore told Daily Venus Diva that the title is part of an intentional choice to reclaim and embrace the word "fat."
Thore also decided to launch the No Body Shame Campaign to discuss her own struggles with body acceptance and inspire other women. "I am fully dedicated to supporting fellow women in ridding ourselves of shame, and showing that I am NOT ashamed of my body," she told HuffPost.
As Thore wrote on her website:
I am learning to practice aggressive self-love. I have lived my life as a 130-pound woman and as a 350-pound woman in North America, in Europe, and in Asia. Cultural norms, societal pressures, and the whims of the fashion industry do not define my worth as woman or a human being. My intelligence, personality, talents, and contributions do not fluctuate with the numbers on a scale. I am unwaveringly me at any size and I’m learning constructive and pro-active ways to help shape my ideals and the ideals of the world I live in. Do it with me?
Thanks for issuing the challenge, Whitney. We're definitely up for it -- and a dance party.
Here's Thore dancing to "This Is Ya Life" by Jessica Sutta:
For more on Thore and her No Body Shame Campaign, head over to her website.