Amanda Radek is a certified School of SOS dance instructor on a mission to empower women to build confidence, self-love and body acceptance, one sassy strut and hair whip at a time!
She teaches a weekly dance class in Birmingham every Sunday, and this week (Thursday 26th May), she’ll be bringing the SOS dance experience to the Curvy Kate Instagram with a routine to Lizzo - About Damn Time, choreographed by dance icon Shirlene Quigley, one of Lizzo’s core dancers who stars in Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.
I first started my journey with national dance company, School of SOS, by taking online classes during the first lockdown. I'd always loved dancing but still wasn’t very confident in my ability but in the comfort of my own living room, I had nothing to lose.
After just a few weeks of dancing with SOS, I knew I’d found my home. While all of the routines are choreographed by A-list backing dancers and choreographers - working with the likes of Lizzo, Beyonce and Little Mix - the focus of the classes were all about feeling good, not being afraid to make mistakes and completely owning and celebrating everything that makes you unique.
It wasn’t about getting the moves perfect - in fact, there’s so much beauty in our messy moments - it was about letting go, feeling free and moving your body for the sheer joy of it.
Dance finally helped me overcome my body image issues, something I’ve been struggling with for a lifetime! I started recording myself dancing to each routine I learnt because I really wanted to get the moves right. Staring back at me from my phone screen was a girl I didn’t recognise. Her body looked different to the one I saw in the mirror, and just like that, I was finally on my journey to loving myself.
Another turning point for me on my self-love journey was discovering Curvy Kate and realising that I’d been wearing the wrong bra size my entire adult life! The feeling of finding that perfect bra that lifts and hugs your boobs is so powerful. All of a sudden, I was walking with my shoulders back and my head held high.
When I was growing up, you only saw women of a very particular body shape represent lingerie brands, which made feeling sexy in my bra and pants feel out of reach. The rise in the body positivity movement has completely flipped the switch on that and I love seeing women of all shapes and sizes celebrate themselves and their bodies for exactly how they are.
It has been the same in dance for so many years. The idea of the “perfect dancer’s body” is toxic and creates a barrier for entry. We want to tear that down! I became an SOS dance instructor so I could help people go on that same self-love journey. My goal is to empower women to come home to their bodies through dance. Everybody (and I mean “every BODY”!) deserves to feel confident, sexy and powerful in their own skin - it’s our forever home after all.
Experience the slay for yourself and join Amanda for a special routine to Lizzo - About Damn Time, and follow @sos__amanda to find out more about her classes and School of SOS.