May 11, 2016 09:20 AM

Erik Cavanaugh may not look like your “average” ballet dancer, but his graceful moves prove that size has no bearing on ability.

“Dancing has this stereotype that only the thinnest can be successful, when that is not true,” Cavanaugh, 23, tells PEOPLE. “Dance is for everyone and anyone who is willing to put in the work. I want people to finally see the world of dance as much more than just one size.”

The dancer and choreographer has been dancing seriously for the past six years, and has found it to be an incredible outlet for expression.

“I love dancing because it’s the soul’s direct communication to the world,” he says. “Everyone can speak the same language if we dance.”

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The Pittsburgh resident has attracted thousands of followers to his Instagram page, where he shares videos of his performances. Cavanaugh says that he is “attempting to change the mind and shape of dancers.”

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