Dancing with ED, Inc. was founded in 2013 by former ballet dancer and eating disorder survivor Amy Kathleen Lee (formerly Amy Waddle). For over eight years our mission has been to inspire all members of the dance community to love and care for their bodies through eating disorder awareness, outreach and education. Some of its projects include: Stages of Change: A Dancer’s Body Journey, Sharing Space as we Shelter in Place, Voting for Me, Mind. Body. Heart. A Mindfulness, Movement, and Expressive He’arts Camp for young dancers, I am Enough: A Body Journey Workshop, Body Talk, and our latest project, Share my Story.
Due to recent events brought on by the pandemic, Dancing with ED has evolved to meet the ever growing need for mental health awareness, education and resources in the dance community including eating disorders and body image struggles. To better serve the community and broaden our reach, we have decided to dissolve out 501c3 and join Amy in her work to uplift dancers and their families during their mental health journeys. This will include projects with….. Dancing with ED will continue its mission in being the support system dancers can lean on in this changing world. We hope to be the difference we want to see in the dance community. We want to start these conversations and change the narrative by creating a space for dancers to learn, grow and connect.
Amy Kathleen Lee
As a former pre-professional classical ballet dancer, Amy Kathleen Lee is all too familiar with the pressures dancers face on a daily basis. She studied pre-professional classical ballet with the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Va. under Jan Petrus Bosman, Principal dancer from the Royal Ballet. After a career ending spinal injury in 1994, she developed bulimia and battled her eating disorder for almost two decades. Amy then pursued healing, and she was inspired to create a place for herself as an eating disorder recovery advocate for dancers. She worked to see that vision come to fruition and founded her non-profit, Dancing with ED Inc, in 2013.
At the start of her professional career, Amy worked as a nationally certified massage therapist. She started working in the field of behavioral health in 2008 due to her diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder. She has worked as a Children’s Specialist in a Domestic Violence Shelter, a Paraeducator in Special Education, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix.
Her nonprofit organization, Dancing with ED, is where she shares her passion for recovery in the dance community and creates projects to support her mission: to raise awareness of eating disorders as well as inspire dancers to love and care for their bodies. Her creative works include: Stages of Change: A Dancer’s Body Journey, Sharing Space as we Shelter in Place, Voting for Me, Mind. Body. Heart. A Mindfulness, Movement and Expressive He’arts Camp for young dancers, I am Enough: A Body Journey Workshop, Body Talk, and her latest project, Share my Story.
Amy loves to communicate her passion on stage as an inspirational speaker. She tells stories from her journey and triumph over bulimia, suicide, trauma, and abuse to spread hope to others and to let people know that they are not alone. She is an award-winning mental health advocate, former member of the Suicide Prevention Council of San Luis Obispo and a current member of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, She is a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer, Q.P.R. Trainer, Certified Online Counseling and Suicide Intervention Specialist, speaker for the Stamp Out Stigma Speakers Bureau, and serves as an advisor to two non-profits, Teens 4 Teens Help and Hunger for Awareness. Recently, Amy joined the Mental Health America Advocacy Network.
Her latest endeavor is going back to school to obtain her license as a clinical social worker. She will graduate in 2025 from Capella University.
Invite Amy to speak at your next event!
A Special Message from Amy
As many of you know, I started Dancing with ED, Inc. in 2013 because I noticed a pressing need to create a safe space for dancers, parents, and teachers, where they can learn about and discuss eating disorders as well as gain the support they need through resources and a sense of community. Around this time, I had just recovered from my eating disorder and discovered my true purpose in dance—to share my story and the knowledge I have gained over the past 20 years about eating disorders, recovery, and mental health.
Now, eight years later, through a lot of hard work and dedication, I’ve created a space where I can merge Dancing with ED with my work as a Mental Health Educator, Speaker, and Suicide Prevention Trainer and Consultant. I feel that the services I offer the mental health sector are needed in the dance community and combining my work will allow me to broaden my reach and help more people.
The change will be gradual, but there is a lot happening behind the scenes and I promise to keep you updated. Our current projects and website will continue, as well our social media platforms. The Stages of Change: A Dancer’s Body Journey Dance Show will be back, along with the workshops, and other activities that I know everyone was really excited about pre-pandemic. Dancing with ED will also continue to share resources both on the website and in our quarterly newsletter.
The mission of Dancing with ED remains to raise awareness of eating disorders in the dance community, inspire dancers to love and care for their bodies, as well as share our message: you don't have to dance through this alone.
Amy Kathleen Lee