Amber Riley's 'Dancing' performance inspires real-sized women

'Glee' star gets kudos for courage, determination

The sizzling performance of Amber Riley in the season premiere of "Dancing With The Stars" is proving to be an inspiration for the kind of woman who isn't typically shown dancing on television.

When most people think of dancers, they focus on people with a long, lean body type, but Riley, who stars on "Glee," showed she could get down on the dance floor, despite not having the stereotypical dancer's body.

Decked out in sparkles, Riley wowed the crowd and the show's judges with a fierce cha cha.

After the rousing dance, Riley and partner Derek Hough earned a standing ovation and a score of 27 out of 30 from the judges, abnormally high for the first show of the season.

"You are the tigress of season 17," judge Bruno Tonioli proclaimed.

Almost immediately after Riley's show-stopping debut, supporters congratulated her on the performance and praised her skill and courage, calling her an inspiration to real women everywhere.

"You are amazing! Could not stop smiling watching you dance," one person tweeted. "You're an inspiration to so many women."

Another tweeted, "Love her attitude about image. No matter how you look, you can do whatever you dreamt of."

For Riley, there is no higher complement.

"I really want young girls that look just like me to get out there and move and dance," Riley said. "During these rehearsals, I'm pushing past that cardio and I'm really enjoying it and having fun."

Known for her role as Mercedes Jones on "Glee," the California native always dreamed of being a dancer.

"Dancing for me is like the dream deferred. For me coming up, it was either singing or dancing," she said. "We couldn't afford both."

Watch Riley's dance -- http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/fall-2013-amber-riley-derek-hough
 

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