For tenth-grader Jillian Fuller, the art of dance is not only a hobby, but also a lifestyle, hidden beneath her seemingly introverted aura. Practicing at her own mother’s studio, Elite Fine Arts Academy, Fuller has established a pastime which she will remain dedicated to throughout high school and later in life.
Fuller was first introduced to dance by her mother, studio owner and coach of Elite Fine Arts Academy, roughly 13 years ago. “My mother put me into the sport when I was very young, which has helped me to become a more skilled dancer. I would definitely say that my mom is the one who inspires me to dance,” Fuller said.
Practices for Fuller consists of working in the studio five hours, five days a week. These practices begin with floor stretches, followed by rehearsals of her current dances and routines. “Even though dance can be hard at times, I think it’s worth it because it gives me an opportunity to express myself and my feelings, especially since I’m quite introverted and shy at school,” Fuller said.
Recently, Fuller competed in a competition called “Streetz Dance Competition,” where she placed fourth overall and received a platinum rating with a solo she choreographed herself. She partakes in all styles of dance, including jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, hip hop and contemporary dance. According to Fuller, she prefers contemporary dance because she finds it easier to express her emotions in this form.
Dance has also been a source of support for Fuller who has accumulated a number of good friends at her studio. Fuller said, “My friends at dance are amazing. They are so supportive and I really appreciate what they’ve done for me throughout my time in dance.”
“Jillian is my heart. It is my joy to watch her dance. When it comes to artistry, she is mature beyond her years. When it comes to flexibility, she gives ‘Gumby’ a run for his money. Jillian’s love for dance is as genuine as my love for her,” Fuller’s mother, Trudy Weaver, said.
At the moment, Fuller plans on continuing dance throughout high school, and possibly as a minor in college. Although she does not plan on using dance as a potential career option, Fuller does intend to enjoy dancing for as long as she participates in it.