Amber Riley: Dancing Queen and Trail Blazer


dancing with the stars

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Waltzing Her Way to A Win

I don’t watch “Dancing with the Stars.” But clearly many, many Americans do because the finale of Season 17 was blowing up my Facebook newsfeed the other night when Amber Riley, the “Glee” actress, and her partner Derek Hough, samba-ed, quickstepped and waltzed their way to victory. Amber said afterwards:

“I did this competition because, I didn’t know if I [could] do it and anything that scares me I want to do, so I [want to] let women of all sizes out there know you can do whatever you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter what size you are, what color you are, you can do whatever, whatever, whatever, whatever you put your mind to!”

Breaking Down Stereotypes about Size and Weight

What is so encouraging about Amber’s win is that it demonstrates what we’ve known at Green Mountain all along: That size and weight cannot tell you someone’s level of fitness, athletic abilities or health. I mean, that girl could move (check out her freestyle video below)!

We touched on this subject earlier this year when Maria Bartoli won Wimbledon, although she does not possess the perceived physique of an elite athlete, either.

What these high-profile wins should demonstrate, and I really hope they do, is that we should not let weight or size box us in or prevent us from trying new things. Because you never know what you’ll discover about your own strengths, the stereotypes you may break down, or the confidence you might gain.

“I don’t think it should be an anomaly for a person my size to be able to dance or have confidence,” Amber said early in the season. “Everybody should have confidence. … We deserve it.”

Thanks for leading the way, Amber. Oh, and BTW, congrats!

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