In today’s media, it’s easy to come across dancers from all parts of the world. One lucky day as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I happened to come across this amazing dancer that was breaking stereotypes. She wasn’t incredibly thin, but she was still wonderfully energetic, flexible, and as capable as any other dancer. Meet Amanda LaCount, the young girl who has appeared on Dancing with the Stars, Bunk’d, and The Voice. I had the lovely opportunity of talking to her about how she started, some of the struggles she has faced, and all of the incredible victories she has accomplished.
Amanda told me that when she was barely a 2-year-old she had already started dancing, most likely inspired by her two older sisters. She loves acting, a passion she started when she was 5 at dinner and community theaters. She even performed in the National Tour of the Wizard of Oz! However, to fulfill her dream of being a professional dancer, she moved from Colorado to Los Angeles and signed with Bloc Talent Agency. The rest is history.
“My mom and I have always been told I was too fat to be a dancer, but we ignored them. Studio owners told me they didn’t want my body type on their dance team.”
As you may know, the dance industry is pretty tough. Not many people make it to become professionals. So when I asked Amanda how she has dealt with rejection, especially with her body type, she responded that it sometimes makes it harder to prove people wrong and break stereotypes. However, she sticks by the mantra that if people are talking about you, whether it’s good or bad, it means that you must be doing something right.
“I went into Debbie Allen Dance Academy and I auditioned… I was so excited! Then her director said I was too fat to be a dancer. It crushed me, but I kept on dancing.”
Amanda often includes the hashtag #BreakingTheStereotype on her social media posts, so she elaborated on the meaning of it: “People always told me you had to be tall and skinny to be a dancer. I want to break that, which is where the #BreakingTheStereotype came in. I don’t think body type, height, skin color, sexual orientation, age or anything else should determine whether or not you are a dancer.”
As you could image, Amanda has been thrown an incredible amount of hate, including from actor Richard Simmons who put her down during a red carpet. However, she has persisted always, and choreographers began to realize her innate talent and passion. She has had some amazing opportunities to star in music videos by Krewella, Nothing More, and Walk the Moon. She is constantly working with some of the top choreographers in the industry right now, including Brian Friedman, Will “Willdabeast” Adams, and Janelle Ginestra.
I think Amanda is an inspiration for so many young people who want to pursue dance (or anything for that matter) because she is a reminder to not let anything get in the way of her dreams.
“Dance for yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else may think! A lot of people told my mom and myself that I couldn’t be a dancer over the years, and look at me now! Find what makes you happy and do it!”