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University of Oregon

Priscilla Peña Ovalle

ovalle_HuffPostLive-screengrabHuff Post Live: “Dance Like a Pro At Any Weight,” featuring Professor Priscilla Peña Ovalle. 

Huff Post Live’s Nancy Redd interviews dancer and founder of the No Body Shame Campaign Whitney Thore who learned she had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome after gaining 200 pounds in college—but it didn’t stop her from dancing. Professor Ovalle and Roslyn Mays join their discussion. In the interview, Thore talks about her video, “Fat Girl Dancing,” and why people of all sizes should dance.

In the interview, Professor Ovalle points out that Whitney’s video and platforms like YouTube now offer “moments where anybody can dance on screen,” we can see lots of people moving their bodies, not just those with a certain body type; through social media we see “beautiful bodies dancing, whatever shape, whatever color, in everyday life.” In Hollywood, however, it is rare to see women in central roles and even rarer to see them dancing, according to Ovalle.

Professor Ovalle is the author of Dance and the Hollywood Latina: Race, Sex, and Stardom (2011).

Read about Professor Ovalle’s current research.