Rocky born dancer making her way to the top in the industry
HOLLI Hill hadn't been on the Pilbeam Theatre stage in five years but when she returned on Saturday night it was as though she never left.
The 17-year-old returned to Rockhampton over the weekend to perform in the Vicki Davis Academy of Dance and Performing Arts' performance celebrating 45 years of teaching.
Holli was among 36 past students performing on the night and danced her way through two solos in the show.
Holli and her family moved to Rockhampton when she was four years old.
She had been dancing since she was two and at age six signed up with Vicki Davis, affectionately known by students as Mrs D.
A student at Crescent Lagoon State School up until year five and Rockhampton Grammar School for years six and seven, Holli and her family moved to Mudgee in New South Wales when she was 12.
She has fond memories of her time with Mrs D at the dancing school.
"I was very young, going to Vicki's when I was six, it was just like I was family to them and they brought me up,” Holli said.
"Their knowledge of dance and how they guided me through what could be in the future for me and they were always supporting me through every decision I made.
"If I didn't have them, I don't think I would be the dancer I am today.”
Mrs D got back in touch with Holli earlier in the year to ask if she would like to come back to perform in the milestone event.
Holli jumped at the chance.
She said sshe felt honoured and fortunate to be included.
"I haven't seen anyone in about five years... so it was a bit strange but it was like I had never left, we all came together and we all chatted and danced,” she said.
"It was just really special.”
Having performed at the Pilbeam for dance eisteddfods and dance festivals, Holli said it was surreal to be back.
"It was weird but it was nice... it felt part of me was still there,” Holli said.
Still focused on her dancing, Holli is in the middle of completing a full-time dance program with an elite dance school, Ettinghausens Pro in Sydney.
The school is one of the biggest dance schools in Sydney and only takes 30 students a year, so it was a credit to Holli to be accepted.
She is doing her certificate IV in dance and studies all day, five days a week.
"I am getting trained to be in this industry... getting to know how to work professionally, getting knowledge, learning more styles,” she said.
She trains in various genres from jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, acro and Latin to singing and acting.
"I love all of them but if I had to choose a favourite it would be jazz or contemporary,” Holli said.
With a few months of the course under her belt now, she is still enjoying every minute.
"It's gone very quick.... it has been the most amazing experience of my life, I am doing what I love every single day,” she said.
"There is not a day where I don't want to come because I love being here.
"I'm being pushed... getting a name... connecting with choreographers and learning their stories and what they did.”
Looking back, she confidently said she wouldn't be able to carry her dream and dance full-time without her grounding with Vicki Davis when she was younger.
In terms of the future, Holli has big dreams.
Auditions begin next term and Holli is hoping to get a role overseas or on a cruise ship.
Dance and performing is a passion that runs deep.
"I was put into a class when I was two years old, I have grown up with it and it's been with me forever,” she said.
"I think I was just destined to do it.”
Whether she is under the big lights or at home rehearsing, dancing opens a creative outlet for Holli.
"I feel free and that's how I express myself,” she said.
"I can tell my story through dancing.”
"I don't have to worry about anyone or what they are thinking when I am dancing... I feel free, happy, joyful.
"It's just like my second nature.”
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