Oh Amanda LaCount… so much power in a pint sized plus performer. We can’t get enough of you. Here’s the kicker… at 17 years old, you’ve got an entire lifetime to keep kicking ass! We’re so excited to have this amazing stereotype breaker at our event in NYC this coming February! We’re not going to talk about her any further. We’ve done enough of that.

This week, we finally caught up with Amanda LaCount to discuss how she came to be the all star that she is. Check out the interview below:

Bold Magazine: Amanda, we recently connected after finding you on Instagram. When did you start sharing your dancing on social media?

Amanda LaCount: This corresponded to when I started taking dance classes at Millennium Dance Complex when I was able to get to Los Angeles.  It continued when I moved to LA and now try to post at least 1 dance video every day.

Bold Magazine: So. much. awesome! You’ve been on Ellen DeGeneres, danced for Katy Perry, we even heard your High School made it the national finals last year. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Amanda LaCount:
I would say my biggest accomplishment to date would be appearing on the November Cover of Dance Spirit Magazine this year.  I grew up reading this magazine in my dance studio.  I had 3 goals this past year.  They were to dance on The Ellen Show, dancing with Meghan Trainor, and being mentioned in Dance Spirit Magazine.  I never imagined that I would be on the cover.  I feel that the dance industry is beginning to recognize that dancers come in all shapes and sizes.

Bold Magazine: Umm…. heck yeah! What has the response been to what you’re doing? Positives and negatives.

Amanda LaCount: Of course there have been the haters, but overall the response has been very positive and supportive.  I get messages every day from dancers, parents, grandparents, and even studio owners saying what a difference I am making with my movement #breakingthestereotype.

Bold Magazine:
Oh girl… we know about the haters! What’s your goal in the plus size community? In general?

Amanda LaCount: My goal is to continue to inspire people to follow their dreams and not worry about what other people may say or think.  Any “body” can be a dancer.  I want everyone to feel comfortable in their body and feel good about themselves.

Bold Magazine: Yes! So, we see that you have recently moved to LA. What’s next for you? Are you pursuing your dancing full time?

Amanda LaCount: I originally moved to LA to pursue my professional dance career.  Since graduating last spring, I am focusing full-time on my passion, dance.

Bold Magazine: Nice! We’re so excited that you’re joining Bold in New York City. What do you plan to bring to the event? Besides your awesome dancing sneakers.

Amanda LaCount: I plan to bring my confidence and passion with me.  My hope is that by telling my story and speaking to others, that I can spread this confidence and have everyone leave feeling empowered to be the best person they can be and that “anything is possible to a willing mind”.  “If you love, do it!  It’s as simple as that.”

Bold Magazine: Hell Yeah! Tell us a positive story about someone you made an impact on!

Amanda LaCount: A teenage girl DM’d me from the hospital.  She had tried to commit suicide and was scrolling through Instagram to try to find a reason she should live.  She came across my page and told me that I inspired her to believe in herself  and that she deserved to live.  That was very powerful to know I could have that strong an impact on someone else’s life.

Bold Magazine: Wow… Amanda, that’s incredible. You’re pretty vocal about your size. When did that start? Why? Tell us how you went from being a dancer to being an activist.

Amanda LaCount: When I was in Colorado I had a studio owner ask me to join his dance competition team.  He put me in many group numbers and featured me in 2 of the routines.  That year I won 3 dance titles and over $5,000 in dance scholarships.  At the end of the year, he asked for a meeting with my mom and I.  When we met with him he said he was kicking me off the team for the next year because my body type “didn’t fit his vision” for the team.  It hit me really hard.  It was really the first time I realized that I was different from the other dancers.  I had a decision to make.  I could let his words defeat me or I could own it and prove him wrong.  As one of my shirts says “Proving people wrong is my favorite hobby.”

Bold Magazine: Jeeze. you’re showing them for sure! What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced? And the best opportunity you’ve found?

Amanda LaCount: My biggest challenge is that I often have to dance twice as good as everyone else to be accepted.  I have been dismissed from auditions before I even have a chance to dance because I don’t fit the stereotype of what they think a dancer should look like.  The biggest opportunity I’ve had is that once people see me dance, they can’t believe it and I can often change their mind that bigger people can dance.

Bold Magazine: Lastly, what makes you BOLD?

Amanda LaCount: I am BOLD because I am following my passion and I’m not letting stereotypes stop me.  I love my body!  It is what makes me different and special.  No one is going to stop me from pursuing my dreams!  I am #breakingthestereotype