"I’m so inspired by my team and our ability to work hard and support each other," she said. "Some of my best friends are my fiercest competition."
Bella has always loved dancing. It gives her confidence and she enjoys mastering new things. She loves to perform on stage, at the studio or at home for family.
"I love being able to express myself in different ways by showing different emotions or styles of dance," Bella said.
Bella loves to watch and learn from the older girls at her dance studio. She avidly watches dance shows on TV and hopes to audition for one some day. She loves musicals and 'Hamilton' is her favorite. She recalls her favorite 'Hamilton' line: "There's a million things I haven't done - just you wait!"
That line holds true for Bella's passion for dance and her hopes for the future.
This past summer, Bella came in second place overall at the Shake the Ground Nationals, where she also received a scholarship. After attending 'Titans of Dance' for the first time, she was awarded a scholarship. Most recently, she was awarded third place at Radix for her solo in which she competed in the Mini Division (8-10 year olds) for the first time.
"I was very excited and proud of that," she said.
Bella encourages others to believe in themselves and never give up.
"You will be amazed at what you can do!" Bella said.
She adds: "Always support your team and other dancers. Dance is a confusing sport with solos where you compete against your teammates and friends. Always congratulate others on their success! Don’t compare yourself to others — it doesn’t matter what others can do or not do — focus on what you want to be doing."
Featured Dancers share their top picks in dance!
Titans of Dance
Jo & Jax
Oh La La Dancewear
LA Dance Designs
Julia Rose Photography
"No matter what, we all are supportive and have each other’s backs," Stella said. "They continuously motivate me and push me to be better than I was before. I love them all and am very grateful to have them in my life."
Stella trains 15 or more hours each week in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Contemporary, Acrobatics and Hip Hop. Her titles include Miss Teen Starquest and the American Dance Awards Dancer of the Year.
The camaraderie extends to her dance teachers — Miss Erica, Miss Lisa and Miss Jackie, who have greatly impacted Stella's journey through dance.
"They have always made sure that I’m giving my best -- whether I am going across the floor, on stage, or in a rehearsal. They are the reason why I have improved so much over the past years physically and mentally," Stella said. "They are like second mothers to me, teaching me about not only dance, but life as well. I am forever grateful for the support, encouragement and love that they continually give me."
Stella has found her art through dance. It takes away her stress from everyday life.
"I get to do what I love each day," Stella said. "Dance makes me ... me, and nothing can ever change that."
Stella is grateful for the gift of dance and loves to share that by being a role model to others. She's able to do that through a positive studio environment and support and encouragement from her parents.
Stella wants others just starting out in dance to know that 'comparison is the thief of joy.' She thinks all dancers should embrace being perfectly you.
"The more you compare yourself to others, the less happiness you will get from dancing," Stella said. "It gets easier when you get older and realize that you are a perfect dancer just the way you are."
She also advises to always work hard.
"Nothing ever gets accomplished if you don’t put your mind and commitment to it," Stella said. "Understand that your goal as a dancer is not out of reach if you put your heart and soul into it."
Featured dancers to share their top picks in dance-related categories.
JoJo Gomez, @jojogomezxo
Lexi Colvin, @focuslexi
Five Dancewear, @FiveDancewear
Superior Band, @superiorband
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