Erik Cavanaugh has become an overnight sensation after redefining what a traditional dancer should look like.
The 23-year-old was the subject of a video collage posted to Facebook. The video featured the overweight male ballet dancing with an incredible amount of skill and grace. With more than nine million views and 90,000 shares, Cavanaugh is crushing stereotypes of what a dancer is supposed to look like.
Erik holds a bachelor’s degree in dance from Slippery Rock University, but is currently working in a Pittsburg pizza restaurant. In his spare time, he continues to dance and choreograph. He is being praised in the dance community for being an inspiration for those that don’t fit the traditional molds.
As we know the Internet can be a cruel place, so surprisingly the comments to Cavanaugh’s video has been extremely supportive.
“Look how amazing this man is” and “You have inspired me and made me a better dancer”. “I would love to dance with you you’re such an inspiration and absolutely amazing,” a user posted.
In a interview with Forbes, Erik explained that he is shocked by the responses.
“It’s been kind of insane,” Cavanaugh said. “I know that I don’t look like a typical dancer. The Internet isn’t expecting me to jump high and things like that.”
He says he will continue to post his dancing videos to help continue to be an inspiration.
“I am not ashamed of who I am,” Cavanaugh said. “I’m trying to inspire children that may look like myself that all dreams are capable.”