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Welcome to Episode 11 of the Untamed Podcast with guest Akira Armstrong, Founder and CEO of Pretty Big Movement.

Akira Armstrong began her intensive dance, drama and vocal training at age 8 at Mind Builders Creative Arts Center; Bronx, New York. She was hand-picked to participate in a high level merit program and is also a former student of the Alvin Ailey School.Following her graduation from professional performing arts high school, Ms. Armstrong studied at Syracuse University, where she received her B.A. in Public Relations/Education. She has performed with Jubilation Dance Company, Bernice Johnson Dance Company, The world famous Apollo Theater and Ladies of Hip Hop at Cosmo Theater in Vienna, Austria. In 2007, Akira Debuted as a principal dancer in two of Beyonce’s videos: “GreenLight” and “Get Me Bodied.”

Due to the bias faced by plus size dancers, Akira formed Pretty Big in the Spring of 2009 as the first Plus Size International Dance Company. In 2015, Pretty Big was featured in a video entitled “Personally.” This video was a homage to all of the Black men and women who were victims of police brutality and a tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. Then in February of 2017 The Scene interviewed Akira and the members of Pretty Big Movement. That video went viral and over 21.5 million viewers became aware of Pretty Big and Akira’s desire to enhance one’s outlook on their personal appearance.

Today, Pretty Big Movement performs, conducts workshops, and travels across the U.S. providing empowerment tools for women and the community who need to be inspired, elevated, self-aware and reminded of their inner and outer beauty. Akira is passionate about image, fashion and beauty and it’s her personal mission to utilize her artistic background to inspire members of Pretty Big, the community and workshop attendees. Her goal is to empower and encourage everyone she meets to reach their full potential and convey these messages in each workshop, appearance, and panel event through dance – proving that size has no barrier.

 

Listen on:  ||  iTunes  ||  Stitcher  || Google Play  ||   YouTube  ||

 

EPISODE DETAILS:

4:20 Heads Up on Upcoming Openings to Work with Me!

5:50 What Do You Want to Hear? Let Me Know! (untamedpodcast.com)

7:08 Sound Quality Disclaimer

8:20 Akira’s Bio

11:12 Akira Introduces Herself + Pretty Big Movement

12:20 The Reason Behind the Name

13:35 Pretty Big as a Movement for Body Acceptance

15:55 Akira’s Personal Experience as a Plus Sized Dancer

18:28 The Source of Akira’s Ambition

21:32 Size as a Social Justice Issue

23:30 Pretty Big’s Anthem

26:10 Akira’s Feelings About the Impact She’s Making

29:35 Pretty Big is for Everyone

30:40 Pretty Big Workshops

32:28 Akira’s Hopes for Pretty Big

34:02 Akira Answers the Untamed Closing Questions

39:31 One Word UN Words

40:33 How to Learn More and Stay Connected with Akira

RELATED LINKS:

The Scene Viral Video About Pretty Big

Pretty Big Anthem (Be prepared to CRY!)

Pretty Big Pays Tribute to Black Lives Matter

Pretty Big Layne Bryant Video #ThisBody

Upcoming Pretty Big Workshops and Performances

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE

 

CONNECT WITH AKIRA:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

 

PODCAST CREDITS:

Lu Uhrich is the host and producer of the Untamed Podcast. She is also the founder of LU|EATS,LLC (www.lueats.com) where she works one-on-one with clients as an Eating Psychology Coach, Body Image Mentor and Life Coach.

Photography by Sam Interrante

Intro/Outro Music by Shoyei

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