Britt Stewart at the Industry Dance Awards 2022Photo by Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images

As a young Black girl, Dancing With The Stars pro Britt Stewart wasn’t safe from negative spaces telling her she can’t make it. Fortunately though, her passion is bigger than her struggles that she managed to overcome harsh criticisms, even ones that came from herself.

Britt Stewart Thought She Wasn’t Pretty Enough to be a Dancer

Before Stewart made history as the first Black female professional dancer in DWTS, she first had to brave decades-long of discrimination. The choreographer recently talked to Yahoo Life, opening up about the color-based battles she faced since she was a kid.

“I had a very strict ballet teacher who told me that I would never be a professional dancer, because of my muscle structure,” she said.

According to the DWTS, she was lucky enough to be “raised by a very strong Black woman.” If not, she would falter in the face of such intolerable criticism. However, as she grew older, she quickly learned to find faults in her appearance.

“I felt like I wasn’t thin enough,” she said. “And then, being in the entertainment industry so young, I always felt like the Black girl never had the lead role. So that gave me the feeling of, ‘OK, maybe I’m not thin enough. And maybe I’m not beautiful enough.”

Nevertheless, her parents have always found a way to empower her. As Stewart said, her mom allowed her to preserve and stay true to herself. 

Stewart joined the Dancing With The Stars cast as part of the troupe in 2020. That time, she would appear on stage during group numbers and go on tour with other members. In season 29, she took a leap and got promoted to being a pro.

She Says Becoming a DWTS Pro was a “Rollercoaster of Emotion”

When she became the first ever Black female to be a DWTS pro, she was in shock. Stewart felt “extremely excited” but also “terrified.” Apparently, the anxiety was a consequence of pressure at the heels of her groundbreaking achievement.

“I remember about an hour before the first live show, I went into the parking lot, called my mom and started bawling, crying,” she said. “I was like, ‘I am this representation, I have to show up in a way that makes other Black women proud.’”

During season 29, she was paired with figure skater Johnny Weir, finishing in sixth place. Then, in season 30, she and Martin Kove was the first duo eliminated. 

In season 31, she was partnered with CODA star Daniel Durant, a deaf actor. They stayed in the competition until the semi-finals and eventually sparked romance after the show. Today, they are officially in love and have been spending adorable getaways together.

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