Being a dancer of size is NOT a limit. At just 18, Megan Carter, bought a spur of the moment bus ticket to New York. So You Think You Can Dance was holding auditions and she thought, why not? She came back from the auditions with the reassurance that being a thicker dancer shouldn't put a limit on you. It should actually do the exact opposite, motivate you to be even better.

pizza, tea, beer, coffee
Megan Carter

The year Megan graduated our studio, I was still learning how to do a double pirouette, one of the most basic skills. She taught our classes a few times here and there, assisted our main instructors, and even choreographed a few of my friends solos on her own. No one at my studio considered Megan to be a dancer of size, mainly because she was just so good at what she did. 

Back to that bus ticket

"My mom and I woke up at two in the morning, and were outside the theater, in the rain, at three," Megan said. The dancers were taken in ten at a time. After a grueling few rounds of ten second improvisation, and hours of waiting around, Megan finally got the chance to do her solo in front of producer Nigel Lythgoe, and choreographers Adam Shankman, and Mia Michaels.

After performing her contemporary solo, she made her way to the microphone at the head of the stage, and braced herself for the critiques that were to come. When she looked up there were tears on Mia Michael's face. 

The first words out of Mia's mouth were, "You make me so happy to be a women of size." Megan acknowledged she was a dancer of size, but it had no impact on her attitude. "It's not like I don't notice, but it isn't a handicap for me," Megan said.

Mia went on to explain how the hardships of being a dancer of size, while searching for a professional job, pushed her in the direction of creativity and choreography.  She told Megan she embodied how, as a choreographer, Mia "looks at the spirit of the dancer and no matter what size we are, and what shape we are, we are truly an artist and it doesn't matter." This hit home for Megan because she knew Mia went through being a dancer of size, and that's why she is the person she is today, why she is a choreographer. 

Beginning of something much bigger

Because of her experience and attitude towards dance, having Megan as my choreographer meant so much. I struggled immensely with confidence when it came to dance. I mean, I was constantly surrounded by girl's with six-packs, dressed in bra tops and booty shorts. I didn't understand how anyone felt comfortable. Megan would constantly tell me, "You have every reason to be confident," but for the longest time, I just didn't believe her.

cake, beer
Amy Larrick

It wasn't until my senior year, after having Megan as my teacher for six years, that it hit me. "I tell kids all the time, 'You don't have to do it exactly like me, do what I want you to do, but do it your own way'," Megan stated. She never wanted us to strive to be like other people, or to fit some pre-destined, cookie cutter version of a dancer. 

Positive and proud

I most likely won't become a stereotypical professional, or dance in music videos, but it doesn't matter. My body, and the way it moves, is what makes me an artist. My body is what I am proud of.