From a young age, many girls strive to be beautiful.
Throughout women’s lives many try to enhance their appearance through drastic means such as plastic surgery or simple actions such as curling hair or wearing makeup. But what actually makes someone beautiful?
Professional dancer Breanna Aponte answers that question.
I learned of Breanna’s story through a friend, who said to me, “You will love Breanna and what she is all about.”
He was right, I did and I do.
Breanna is the founder and CEO of Shameless Studios. The concept behind the brand is to inspire confidence and comfort in one’s own skin, regardless of size, race, shape, age etc.
“Too big, too small, that is not a thing with me,” Breanna told me. “I feel like all women are beautiful.’
The Cleveland native holds Shameless classes in her downtown studio. Classes start with a walk in high heels, before progressing to dancing.
“It gives them that boost of confidence,” she said. “They are feeling it and they are able to become this shameless lady I pull out of them.”
While Breanna, who is 23 years old, is wise beyond her years, extremely bright, with a resume to prove it and talented at her craft, even she struggled with confidence throughout her life.
Breanna is a former Cavaliers dancer.
“I was picked on a lot because of my weight and my size," she said about her time as a Cavs girl. "I kind of got to a point where I didn’t feel so confident and I wanted to do something for all those ladies who had similar feelings.”
As she inspires other women to feel happy in their own skin, she is now able to recognize and appreciate her own beauty,
“It makes me feel like I am doing my purpose. It makes me smile every day I get up and I work hard for it and it’s a good feeling, “ she said.
As she conducts her class, she looks in a mirror so she and her fellow dancers can see their steps and their dance moves. The beauty that radiates throughout the room does not come from what they see in their reflection but rather how they feel within themselves.
Breanna says neither makeup, hair, nor size will make someone beautiful.
"I don’t really judge based off of looks,” says Breanna. “Beautiful to me is when you can see it without physically looking at it.”