It also has allowed her to help others. Through ‘Dance Hope Cure,’ she is able to bring awareness to childhood cancer. She also worked on another special project for a young girl named Lexi who developed Kernicterus, a form of brain damage, at birth.
She performed her first solo on stage at six years old, which was intimidating for her.
“But, once I got on stage I realized how amazing it felt and it helped me overcome my fears and believe in myself more,” she said.
Though she is only nine, Lina has been able to work with amazing choreographers who inspire her, including her own teachers. She has had the opportunity to travel to many cities around the country and attend numerous competitions and conventions. This past summer, Carolina attended Francisco Gella Ballet Plus and Miami Joffrey Ballet.
"To me an empty studio is like my diary — its like a blank page. I can dance all my feelings without even saying a word. Some days you open the diary wide open and let the audience inside and other days you keep it closed for yourself.”
Lena’s favorite genre of dance is ballet, because of the contrast between strictness and gracefulness. Lena currently trains at French Academie of Ballet full-time. She has been dancing ballet for 12 years and modern and lyrical for 8 years. She has spent summers at American Ballet Theatre (MBT), Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Joffrey. In 2016, Lena performed as Clara in the French Academie of Ballet Nutcracker.
Contemporary is her favorite genre of dance. She loves the mix of fluidity and dynamics along with technicality, but most of all she loves the storytelling.
“Contemporary dance brings all my emotions to life, whether it be a competition dance with my teammates, or an improv session in my home studio, JAMM Dance Company,” she said.
Dance has provided her with a creative outlet and a support system. She always leaves classes and conventions feeling motivated and inspired.
“I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but I am even more excited to see what’s in the future.”
Through dance, she has learned to push herself and encourage others.
She also considers herself a 'fighter'. Dance did not come easy for her at first, so she had to work hard on things that seemed easy for others. She took extra classes and decided not to give up.
“I work really hard to get better at the styles of dance that aren’t easy for me,” Claire says. “And the first time I made it through a ballet audition and won a scholarship — it was an amazing feeling.”
Claire views dance as her art and her platform. She enjoys mixing different styles of dance. She also enjoys her involvement with ‘Dance Hope Cure’, which allows her to use her voice and talent to bring awareness to childhood cancer.
She also recently started at Ballet West Glasgow Associates and will perform with them in ‘Giselle'.
“I adore ballet,” she says. “I love the precision of it — how graceful it is.”
She aspires to be a professional ballerina, but acknowledges the difficulty in doing that.
“I am going to work hard and give it everything I have, and hopefully one day my dream will come true,” she says.
Lately, she has been working on accepting imperfection.
“Working hard pays off, but in the end, no dancer is 100% perfect,” Molly says. “Sometimes it's imperfection that allows you to see the real person behind the dancer, and that to me is beautiful.”
Molly credits her parents for the start and continuation of her dance story.
As a junior in high school dealing with the pressure of college and a high Grade Point Average, dance has helped her manage stress. Through dance, she has not only found her best friend, she has also discovered the importance of physical therapy, which she hopes to study in college.
No matter what her future holds, she can reflect on her journey in dance and beam because of who it helped her to become.
Earlier this year, Oliver attended a boy’s dance camp in Sydney, Australia, and enjoyed spending the week with boys who love dance as much as he does.
He is a perfectionist with a competitive nature. When he does not meet his own expectations, he gets frustrated, but he never gives up.
“I never would have thought that I would dance in New York City and Los Angeles with some of the best teachers and choreographers,” she said.
Dance has taught her to trust and value herself. It has also given her a universal language.
“I have danced for people who had dementia, autism, hearing loss, or who spoke a different language from mine,” Niamh said. “But none of these things mattered because in the moment we could share the same story. Words may fail us, but movement is a language all by itself.”
“Watching them just made me feel like I found a pot of gold, or perhaps winning a Grammy,” Courtney said. “Those ballerinas inspired me to do what I’m doing today — dance.”
She has been dancing since she was five years old, and now dances everywhere she goes.
“From dancing in the aisles of the grocery store to improving in my living room — The list never ends,” she said. “I’m thirteen now and I just don’t know what I would do without this beautiful art that I am so passionate about.”
Dance allows Courtney to express herself. She has overcome stress and feelings of devastation through dance. Through a scholarship to Australia, Courtney was able to travel abroad and make new friends. She performed in a “rock ballet,” -- a spin off of the ‘Wizard of Oz.’
Courtney’s biggest lesson learned in dance is to take risks. She used to be afraid to be noticed when attending conventions and master classes. Now she has learned to be confident and move to the front of the room.