BULLIED DANCER GOES VIRAL (Emotional)


(upbeat piano) – I’ve been bullied in
dance since I was like six. (upbeat music) – Oh my God! This is madness. (cheering) I ran a contest with Capezio
and Skylum sponsoring it in which I looked for
two dancers to feature in my upcoming book, Born to Dance, and I got thousands of applicants. One of the dancers I
picked was Lizzy Howell. The reasons why will
become completely clear as soon as you watch this
video but I just want you to think of one thing. Remember the fact that
every day Lizzy would get up and go to dance class in her leotard even though she knew when she
got there she would be teased, ridiculed, bullied. But she did it anyway. That’s the thing that really touched me when I heard about her story
and that’s why I wanted her featured in my book, and
feature her for you right now. So enjoy. – So I had a video go viral in
January of me doing fouettes and I posted it in November of last year just because I wanted to and
I didn’t think anything of it and then in January it went viral and I have about 20 million
views on Facebook I think. When the video went
viral all the followers kind of came at once, so that’s when a lot of
the hate comments came. They don’t know me,
they don’t know anything they just see a picture
and they’re judging me based off of one picture or one video. You don’t know, like my story. So I don’t think it’s
right for people to judge off of one thing. – [Jordan] Capezio knows about
Lizzy and invites us to their flagship store in Times Square. – Good to see you. Come around, we were waiting for you. – Let’s have some fun. Lizzy tries on tap shoes,
and the sales person gets the okay from management
to give her a brand new pair of expensive tap shoes. – I got tap shoes. – [Jordan] This is Diane, she’s
the one that just gave you. – Good, thank you. I was told to stop dancing,
maybe when I was 12. I’m now 16. I was told there wasn’t
gonna be any parts for me in Nutcracker if I didn’t
lose weight or go en pointe. So, that bothered me a lot ’cause it was something
that I wanted to do forever. If I’m a good dancer I
don’t think my body type should affect my opportunities. So I have pseudotumor cerebri which is an excess build up of
spinal fluid around my brain so I could go blind if
it isn’t under control. Dance is what I love and
it’s everything to me so I think that just keeps me going. I’ve been bullied in dance
since I was like, six. It still happens when I
go to dance conventions ’cause there’s like 300 people in one room and they’re all looking at me and so, you know I don’t hear it directly what they’re saying but I can see like the pst, pst, pst and all that stuff. I had one girl at a dance
convention deliberately step on my food with a
tap shoe, and so I missed the rest of the day because
it really bothered me that she did that, but I went the next day
and I did the audition and I got a scholarship
so it’s those things that like, keep me going. It’s the reassurance from other people. It’s all this talking. – You’re so amazing – Thanks. My aunt is my biggest supporter. I’ve been living with her since I was six. I moved in with her when my
mom died in a car accident and that’s when I started dance actually. So, she’s always pushed
me forward and made me go to things even if I was
too scared to go to them which is a good thing ’cause
I would have missed out on a lot of things if
I didn’t listen to her. – Hey guys. So I am here with Lizzy. And she was actually my
first #RoleModelMonday that I posted on my Instagram. And I just wanted to
say that you are truly, like, an inspiration and I look up to you. So, it’s so nice to have
other people just like, really showing their story and
really just being themselves and being who they are. Thank you for that. – Thank you. ‘Cause most dancers are skinny and I’m not so I think people can relate to me in that sort of way. They see me as an inspiration
because I’ve been told to quit dance multiple times and I haven’t so I think people relate to that. They wanna do something, they don’t want other people
telling them not to do it and so that’s happened to me a lot. One time I was in the
hospital and I had an audition for a scholarship the next
day and I got in trouble because I stood up and I
started trying to do my solo and I wasn’t supposed to, but I still did and I actually won a scholarship
for being inspirational so. If I’m having a good day or a bad day I can usually go to dance
and it would cheer me up or make me more happy so it’s like therapy I guess. So if I didn’t have it I
don’t know how I would be. Whatever you say on social
media is going to be seen by somebody and it could
hurt their feelings. You know, you can’t just
say something that you think is funny, but it might affect
somebody else’s feelings. I’m a very sensitive person
so I take everything to heart. There’s a bunch of people
that are like me that take it the same way. – Can I just, we’re doing a
jump shot here for 30 more seconds, do you mind if I
just keep using the space? I understand, but isn’t
that ledge over there okay? You can’t sit on that one? – [Teen] I mean, I just
like this one better. – Are you kidding me? Is this a joke or real? Is he really that guy or no? ‘Cause if he’s really that guy
I wanna have a talk with him. – [Mom] No, he’s not. – He is, he actually is that guy. Listen, I need you to
understand something. This girl has died almost
several times, she’s dancing when she’s heavy and nobody’s
ever thought she could be a good dancer and she’s done all this. She has no money, I’m
trying to get a shot of her in Times Square. – [Teen] That’s good man. So I just won’t take the seat. – Let’s try it again. That mother (beep). – It was never really my
goal to become a role model but now that I am, I’m
kind of glad that I am ’cause I’m helping other
people face their issues that I’ve had to face as well so. I had one lady, she’s an older
woman and she messaged me on Instagram and said she was
a dancer when she was younger but she quit because of what
other people had told her and she just started taking
adult ballet classes again because of me, so that was really good. And made me happy, so. Dancing more and dancing with
people that are accepting of me and nice to me
has made me grow more. If you love what you do
you shouldn’t let people get in the way of that. – I’m challenging Lizzy to a tap off. – That was easy. – Yeah. – Okay. – Let’s do it together. If you liked that video
please give us a thumbs up and make sure to subscribe. Now you know what I did when
I hit a million subscribers. I did a photo shoot in a leotard and tutu. Do you have a crazy idea for two million? If so leave a comment below and make sure you turn on notifications ’cause you’re not gonna wanna miss this. Go, don’t hit me. Okay, let’s get coffee.