Colleen Werner is a professional dancer, singer, writer, and mental health/body-positivity/self-
Colleen is currently studying Psychology at SUNY Old Westbury, and she plans on going to graduate school to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in Eating Disorders. She also aspires to start an eating disorder treatment program created specifically for dancers.
Her Instagram account/blog, @leenahlovesherself, which centers around body-positivity, self-love, and mental health, has deeply inspired thousands, and after creating the hashtag #BopoBallerina, Colleen was featured by Yahoo, National Eating Disorders Association, Dailymotion, A Plus, Dance.com, and by several international news outlets. She is devoted to using dance to make a difference and to making the dance community a place where ALL are safe, included, loved, and welcome.
I’m excited to be part of the YPAD team because the dance world desperately needs change so that it can be an inclusive, loving, safe, welcoming place for all. After personally struggling with an eating disorder for many years, I now feel compelled to advocate for body-positive dance education. 1 in 5 dancers is currently struggling with an eating disorder, and the current culture of the dance world unfortunately often reinforces these deadly illnesses. I am passionate about spreading awareness as well as helping to provide accurate, meaningful education and resources so that we can create a dance world that fosters positive body image and body diversity and fights against eating disorders.