100 Warriors: Dancer Lily Gilmore


Clarion photo Meg Matsuzaki

Dancing Dreams- Sophomore Lily Gilmore has been dancing since she was in the fifth grade

By Emily Diamond, Editor-in-Chief

At age ten, sophomore Lily Gilmore fell in love. Not with a new sibling, a kid at school, or a pet, but with dance.

“When I started dancing in fifth grade, I had already tried so many other activities: kung fu, soccer, softball, basketball. I disliked them all. I immediately knew dance was my thing,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore dances to connect with music. Her father and grandfather were musicians, so she wanted to follow their footsteps, but piano and singing weren’t her calling.

“Dance is the only thing where when I’m doing it, nothing else matters. It’s an escape for me.”

Gilmore goes to her dance studio, Classical Ballet Academy, to dance six days a week. She does several different types of dance, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, and modern and says her favorite one is ballet.

Besides from improving her dance skills, dance has also taught Gilmore about discipline and has provided her with mentors throughout middle school and high school.

“Before dance, I was always the one talking in class during school and I didn’t have as much respect for teachers. We can’t yawn or talk during class and we always thank our teachers at the end, and I carry this discipline into my school life,” Gilmore said.

“My teachers have also impacted me. The most inspiring teacher I’ve had is probably the owner of our school, Ms. Sara,” Gilmore explained. “She is very unique and I think I’ve learned things from her that no one else in my life would have been able to teach me.”

However, Gilmore has also faced several challenges throughout her dance career. “The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome with dance is the ideal ballet body image. There is a very strict image for what a ballet dancer is supposed to look like and it’s really hard to fit that image,” Gilmore said. “When I’m at an audition, the judges are going to look at me, but I always tell myself that I have to prove them wrong and show them that I’m more than just my body.”

Every year at the beginning of school, Gilmore thinks about quitting dance, as she wants to have more time to do school activities and participates in team sports. “Sometimes in the back of my mind I think, ‘If I wasn’t going to dance, what could I be doing?’ But at the same time, I don’t think I could ever quit.”

Through her hard work, Gilmore has danced all over the country. Last summer, she went to New York for a national competition called New York City Dance Alliance with dancers from her studio. However, Gilmore explained that her favorite dances are oftentimes the smaller ones at her studio, especially the annual performance of Nutcracker.

Although Gilmore is currently invested in dance, she is planning to go to college and get a stable job. She may be a dance teacher on the side or simply keep dance as a hobby.

For her remaining two years of high school, Gilmore intends to continue dancing almost every day. She advises others who are looking for a passion to “keep searching. Everyone has a little place that they’re meant to be so I think if you keep searching and trying different hobbies, you are going to find it. It might be dance or it might be basket weaving, but eventually you’ll find it.”