Heard on Campus: Pretty Big Movement

ALTOONA, Pa. — "I say to others don’t judge me by the way I look because I have so much passion behind this body. I say to you don’t give up. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t," said Baby Girl, Pretty Big Movement dance company member. "Your size doesn’t define you, your looks don’t define you, it’s what's on the inside that does. If you have a passion for what you want to do, keep doing it, no matter what anyone says." -

Several members of Pretty Big Movement were on the Penn State Altoona campus on March 21 to perform, answer questions, and speak about body-positivity issues.

Pretty Big Movement is a full-figured dance company specializing in various dance genres such as hip-hop, jazz, African and modern. After years of criticism and judgment in the dance world because of her body type, Akira Armstrong created Pretty Big Movement in 2008 and recruited confident, beautiful, plus-size women to join. The company is designed to give more voluptuous women opportunities to showcase their talent while encouraging and inspiring other plus-size women and girls.

"Out of all of the no’s you hear, all you need is one yes. And the most important yes is the one you tell yourself," said Akira Armstrong, member of Pretty Big Movement. "What if I had listened to every person who told me that I wasn’t supposed to dance? It's never too late to wake up and say to yourself, 'I'm going to do this,' whatever that is. You deserve to follow your dreams, you deserve to be happy. Do what you feel passionate about and to everyone else, they can forget it. It's your life."

Pretty Big Movement 3

Audience members were invited to show off their best dance moves during Pretty Big Movement's performance and presentation.

Credit: Sierra Snigier