A plus-size teenage ballerina has been dubbed an inspiration after a video of her practicing a stunning turn sequence took the internet by storm.
Lizzy Howell, 15, from Milford, Delaware, shares plenty of photos and videos of herself dancing on her Instagram and Facebook pages, but footage of her nailing a series of fouetté turns has launched her into online stardom.
Thousands of people have watched the mesmerizing clip, and many have hailed her a role model for women of all sizes because of her confidence and beauty.
The video sees Lizzy wearing a maroon leotard and footless tights as she effortlessly does eleven fouettés in a row before ending the sequence with a series of pirouettes.
Lizzy told Daily Mail Online that she started dancing when she was five-years-old and has been practicing ballet for the past 10 years.
The ballerina, who also practices jazz and tap dancing, trains four days a week and participated in a local production of The Nutcracker last month.
Lizzy posted the video in November, but this week the clip went viral after others shared it on Facebook and Instagram.
"My video has been shared all over the world, which is a big thing for someone where I live," she explained.
The sudden viral fame helped earn Lizzy more than 22,000 followers, and her video has been viewed more than 75,000 times on her Instagram page alone.
Plenty of people took to the comments section of the post to tell Lizzy that she is "amazing", while others were simply blown away by her skill.
"I enjoy most of the comments saying I'm an inspiration for people of all sizes," Lizzy said.
"I really like being called an inspiration, it makes me feel better about my self and what I'm doing."
"However, I do not like when people say, 'Oh my gosh I can't believe she's better than me!' That implies that plus sized people can't dance, and it makes me feel self conscious.
"It shouldn't matter how much I weigh, the only thing that should matter is my passion for dance," she added. "I am trying to lose weight. I know it will make me a better dancer, as well as make me healthier. Losing weight is hard!"
Lizzy noted that their has also been 'lots and lots of negativity', but most of the time she is able to laugh of people's cruel comments.
She recalled that someone recently commented on her turning video, writing: "Kids, this is how hurricanes are made."
Lizzy said she and her aunt, whom she lives with, laughed for ten minutes straight before she responded: "Don't you mean tornado?"
The talented dancer said laughing is a coping skill for her, but she struggles with some of the comments, including one from a stranger who told her she "should get cancer."
When asked what advice she would give to a young girl who has resisted pursuing her dreams because of her size, Lizzy stressed that "stereotypes are made to be broken."
"You will have to work twice as hard for everything that everyone else gets, but it will be worth it in the long run to prove the 'haters' wrong," she added. "Do what you love and don't let any one stop you."
Reports Daily Mail