"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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