My name is Lilly Wheeler and I am 14 years old. I live in Sarasota, Florida and I dance at The International Ballet of Florida.


Photographer: @sharkcookie

Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

I started dancing at 3 years old and was competing in all styles by 6, but I changed to ballet focus at 9. I am still competing at ballet-focused competitions and performing in full-length ballets today.

Photographer: @erickimsey

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

Dance has always been challenging, but overall I believe that my training and experiences have led me to success!

What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?

I have natural flexibility, but I am still growing, so it has been hard to develop the muscles needed to control my flexibility.

Photographer: @thelkstudio

Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?

I think some people may assume I can’t do some things because of my age, like Pas De Deux, but I have had wonderful coaches that have exposed me to a lot at an early age.

Photographer: @sharkcookie

How do you conquer negative talk?

I just try to put a positive spin on negativity.

What is your favorite quote?

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney

Photographer: @sharkcookie

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

I am planning on starting the season with my current ballet studio, attending competitions, and performing in my studio's fall performances.

Aug 25, 2022

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