Gianluca Russo is a New York-based freelance writer and editor. His work has been published in Playbill, Brit+Co, Bust Magazine, Romper, Paste Magazine, and more. Read more of his writing on
GianlucaRusso.webs.com and connect with him on social media @G_Russo1.
There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as the reactions I've received when I've told people I dance. They can range from disbelief to confusion to shock. To many people, it's somehow incomprehensible that a plus-size person like myself could grace a stage. While the body-positive movement has been trucking along at full force over the past few years, it hasn't made much progress in the dance community yet. In fact, the words "body positivity" and "dance" are almost never used together in the same sentence.
Despite that fact, dance is what helped me learn to love my larger frame. In honor of National Body Confidence Day, I wanted to talk about my first time in a studio, and about the tremendous progress I've made since.