Dani McGowan, the self-professed babe and fashion-fairy god sister behind Mermaid Waves has two deep, abiding loves which shine through her work: pizza and ballet.

It’s her public relationship with both and the message of self-empowerment behind it which has us crushing on Dani this #MusesCrushMonday.

“People think that ballerinas don’t eat,” says Dani. “Growing up everybody would always ask me, ‘oh, do you eat?’ And my response was always yes, I eat.”

To Dani, food (especially pizza) and ballet have always played an integral part in her life: “My dad ran a restaurant! When I was really little, I literally thought my dad lived in the restaurant  because that’s where I spent all my time growing up.”

As a result, the love of food her dad instilled in her as a child is all over her fashion-focused Instagram feed. Chowing down on a half pound burger at Grange Hall Burger Bar or digging into ramen with a tacos hat on, “food is such a big part of my life,” says Dani. “Why not show that?”

“You learn so much from ballet. You gain such amazing discipline and a sense of self-confidence,” says Dani. “Knowing how to perform and how to carry yourself can take you anywhere and help you do anything. It’s definitely something that will always be with me in any capacity.”

Self-confidence can manifest itself however you like. For Dani, hers shines through her whimsical personal style and the favorite restaurants she wears on her sleeve. Read: Urban Belly and Antique Taco. We can’t help but find her message of empowerment inspiring.