Aged 21, and growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Jill endured a tumultuous home life surrounded by friends and family. Experiencing loss at a young age, Jill was able to find her way to dance. First studying under Sue Darrow, instructor and owner of formally known Sue Darrow’s School of Dance. Signer later went on to study under Rolando Yanes at the Milwaukee School of Ballet, Era Jouravlev at the Joffrey Ballet in New York, and Douglas Martin at the American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey.
Beginning a career in the small town of Plymouth, Wisconsin, Jill’s talents exceeded far beyond the studio walls. To consider her dreams, Jill enrolled at the Milwaukee School of Ballet where she would continue to pursue her passion. Later, Signer would attend the Joffrey Ballet school under the direction of Era Jouravlev. Dancing under a world-class ballet company, she would advance and develop her skills across varied repertoire. However, in 2016, Jill would leave Chicago to study under Douglas Martin at the American Repertory Ballet in New Jersey. Under Martin’s instruction, Jill’s career hit a turning point.
“The instructors have really opened my body and mind up to how freeing ballet should feel. I am able to take everything I have learned from Sue Darrow’s to Joffrey and apply that information to what my instructors here tell me to do every day.”
In five years Jill hopes to see herself as an apprentice within a company, and later a professional.
Body Image Advice
“Every day is a challenge when coping with body image and self-esteem. I am still finding ways to be confident with who I am. It is important to feel like you are never alone, so find someone you can talk with. Whether that is a roommate, friend, instructor, or family member. Having support and a necessary second opinion can always help change perspective.”
“Always try to find a time to smile! Whether it is from a moment of success or failure. Smiling is powerful, and it has an impact on your dancing. It is a constant reminder of why you should pursue the career in the first place.”