Photo Credit: Jordan Matter (provided by Amanda LaCount)
In years past, audiences were made to think that dancers should fit into a certain mold. Print ads, TV and movies, and even stage productions mostly featured dancers who were tall, thin females. Recently though, we’ve seen America latch on to the dance industry’s many advocates for inclusiveness, one of whom happens to be Amanda LaCount. At just 18-years-old, LaCount has had more success in the dance industry than most adults, and she’s done it by working hard and embracing her gorgeous curvy figure, instead of shying away from it. She’s even started a campaign called #breakingthestereotype, which inspires artists of all shapes, colors, and sizes to pursue their passion for dance because it makes them feel good.
LaCount followed in the footsteps of her two older sisters and began her dance training at Mary Constantine-Nelson Dance Centre in Fort Collins, CO at just 2-years-old. She cross-trained in hip-hop, contemporary, jazz funk, tap, and ballet, but dance was far from her only after-school activity. This multi-talented girl also took voice lessons, did regional theater, qualified to compete at Nationals in figure skating, and was a competitive all-star cheerleader. As you can see, LaCount has never let anyone get in the way of pursuing her dreams.
Photo Credit: Amanda LaCount
By 2013, dance had become the most important thing in LaCount’s life, and her mom supported her dream every step of the way. She joined Los Angeles based kids dance crew, Latin Flavah, which meant she and her mom made a 16-hour drive every weekend just so she could train and perform alongside other rising stars such as Jordyn Jones and Kaycee Rice. In early 2015, LaCount took a risk and moved to L.A. to pursue professional dance. She enrolled at Champs Charter High School of the Arts and began training at Millennium Dance Complex, EDGE Performing Arts Center, IDA Hollywood, and Playground LA. Not long after her move, she got her big break and signed with Bloc Talent Agency.
Since living in L.A., LaCount has proved that dedication and strong work ethic are truly the most important characteristics of a dancer. Already in her young career, she’s danced in Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” video and on The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. She also spent two years on the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks Crew and is a member of Chloe and Maud Arnold’s youth tap company #NoFilter: Sole Talk. As if that’s not enough, you can also catch LaCount as part of DanceOn’s digital network and as a brand ambassador for dancewear giant Capezio. This past year was important in LaCount’s career because she performed on Ellen with The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle, danced for Meghan Trainor at the Radio Disney Music Awards, and one of her mentors, Brian Friedman, cast her in former Pussycat Doll Carmit Bachar’s “How Far” music video where she was the youngest of 40 female dancers.
Obviously, LaCount has already proved herself as an accomplished dancer, but she is far from being done in her career. She hopes in the future to dance on a national tour, specifically for Meghan Trainor since Trainor supports the #breakingthestereotype campaign. Additionally, she wishes to dance professionally for as long as she can, then transition into choreographing for TV, movies, and musical artists. LaCount also has dreams of attending college and law school, and then ultimately owning her own dance studio.
LaCount is already #breakingthestereotype in the dance world every day, but she hopes her campaign inspires others to do the same. She wants to spread the word that anyone can be a dancer if they are passionate about it and work hard. “I want society to understand that any “body” can be a dancer. Dance should include EVERYONE! If it feels good, just do it,” said LaCount. Height, race, sexual orientation, sex, and body type are all things that do not matter in an inclusive dance world. Campaigns like #breakingthestereotype show today’s youth that dance is really more about what’s on the inside of a person as opposed to what’s on the outside.