Ellis’ journey through dance


Avery Ellis performs a dance at her competition that her and her fellow Mercy dancers have practiced for countless hours. Photo used with permission from: Tracey Ellis

Senior Avery Ellis takes a deep breath as she peeks at the crowd that has formed in the Mercy gym. She looks around and nods at her the fellow dancers as they prepare to perform. She whispers, “we got this guys” as they walk inside and assume their positions. Ellis smiles when she hears her classmates cheer her name as she walks into the gym. Once the music starts to play, all of Ellis’ nerves vanish and she gets an instant adrenaline rush. She gives her complete all during the dance because she knows this is the last year she will perform in the Mercy gym.

Ellis has been dancing since she was 5 years old. Her mom’s friend opened up a dance studio, so she decided to place Ellis into dance classes. She decided to stick with dance throughout the years because she instantly fell in love with the sport. Dance has been a part of her daily routine for 13 years and she says she cannot imagine her adolescent years without it.

Ellis danced for Power Dance Company in West Bloomfield for 10 years, but stopped her junior year to focus more on school Mercy Varsity Dance (MVD). Ellis has been on MVD since her freshman year, which is the first year the team was created. She is now a captain and the only senior on the team.

“I am sad to be leaving because I’ve been on the team for so long,” said Ellis. “I am also the last original member of the team.”

Ellis says that dancing in front of a crowd of people is nerve-wracking, yet extremely empowering. Ellis puts hours of her time, practice, and sweat when preparing for a performance. She says going on stage and performing is the most amazing reward one can receive.

“I am so grateful that my mom put me in dance,” said Ellis. “It helped build my confidence and shape my personality”.

Ellis says that one can know all the steps and have the right technique, but if they do not dance with confidence than their performance is nothing.

“You have to believe in yourself if you want the crowd to believe in you,” said Ellis.

Ellis does not plan on pursuing dance for a career, but she is open to the idea. She says that dance will always be a huge part her life her and will never forget all the lessons it has taught her.

“For now I am going to see where life takes me,” said Ellis. “Even if I do not pursue it professionally, it is always going to be a part of who I am.”