What It’s Really Like To Be A Professional Dancer

Professional dancer Elayna Lopez has developed a style — and attitude — all her own. In the video above, she tells Refinery29 how she came to accept and love her body after enduring the scrutiny of the mainstream dance world. Lopez explains that casting directors tend to have very narrow standards for dancers' bodies. "The typical dancer is tall, skinny, [with] long legs, long lines," she says. It was only when she began practicing hip-hop that she discovered a community of dancers who welcomed all types of bodies. It was around that time that Lopez embraced her own appearance and learned the importance of performing to make herself happy. Now Lopez practices a style of dance that blends several genres, from hip-hop to burlesque to tap. It's hard to describe, but it's even harder to look away when she hits the floor. Watch the video above to see her in action.

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