A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”
The pressure was on for Natalia Mallory. 18-year-old Natalia and her sister Sasha made it through the first round of auditions and headed to Las Vegas to compete on the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance?. For their primary
and perhaps most important audition the sisters performed a duet.
Upon initial review, you wouldn’t think these two were actual sisters.
But Natalia was not typical. She was tall and stocky with a big personality. She was the bigger sister. She was the bigger dancer.
Her size was further emphasized when she had to switch partners- the first, more slight partner could not lift her during a jive routine. Natalia persevered with the grace and smile her audience had already come to expect of her.
After the jive, Natalia became dizzy, felt chills, and ended up being
hospitalized for blood sugar issues. Instead of speculating about whether or not her size played a role in her health problems, her fans just rooted for a quick recovery.
She rallied, and came back to the auditions where she performed once more before the next cut.
It was down to the last dance. Her sister had already made it, but
Natalia’s future was at stake and the odds were stacked against her. She was
already being compared to her sister as well as the rest of the traditional dancers.
The truth is, Natalia was more than just your typical dancer. She was
bigger in size, but she was fit, talented, and had an essence that
captured the music and the hearts of the judges and fans. She broke barriers. She broke the stereotype of what a dancer looks like.
Natalia showed that a larger sized woman can dance just as well as the skinny willowy girls we’re used to seeing. She showed there was more to performing than a dancer’s body type.
She made it through to the next round.
We look at people like Natalie and are often quick to judge. We think
they are overweight instead of built. We think they are weak instead
of strong. We think the thin dancer has more talent than the thick
one. We judge the book by its cover.
Surely Natalie doesn’t look like the typical dancer; but her strong
technique, passion, and talent speaks for itself. Forget the cover,
open up the book and read the pages.
The first chapter title reads: Real Women Can Dance Too.