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The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

What’s your thing? Chloe Willette

+Junior+Chloe+Willette+participates+in+a+photo+shoot+to+promote+her+dance+lessons.+Due+to+a+scheduling+conflict%2C+Willette+was+forced+to+stop+teaching%2C+but+she+continued+dancing+until+early+September+of+2023.%0A
photo by Chloe Willette
Junior Chloe Willette participates in a photo shoot to promote her dance lessons. Due to a scheduling conflict, Willette was forced to stop teaching, but she continued dancing until early September of 2023.

Seven-year-old Chloe Willette was done with dance. And she never imagined she would be dancing competitively, much less participating in dance competitions in Miami, Houston, Michigan and Los Angeles.

I stopped dancing when I was 7, I think it was because I couldn’t do hip hop and I wasn’t interested in ballet or tap, so I was like, ‘Mom, I don’t want to do this any more.’ She took me out, and I never really had any plans in the future to pursue dance,” Willette said.

Willette started dancing when she was only 4. Living in Long Island, New York at the time, she learned the basics of jazz, tap and ballet. After turning 7, however, Willete stopped dancing until she moved to Florida in 2018. Her friend was part of a dance team, Motiv Crew, at the time, located in Orlando. After seeing one of her videos dancing with the team, Willette became intrigued and joined the crew. 

“I joined Motiv and I was very, very, very shy. I’ve always been a really shy person but dance is the only thing that lets me express myself,” Willete said. “That is why I picked up dance in the first place, because I felt like I could speak through movement rather than having to use my words.” 

During the pandemic, Motiv Crew shut down, forcing Willette to practice her dance at home. While at home, Marlee Hightower, Willett’s dance teacher and mentor would send in choreographies for her to learn while the studio was closed. Later in 2020, Motiv Dance Studio reopened in Longwood, and Willette continued advancing in her dancing career, focusing on hip-hop.

  “At that time I was still doing virtual school, so my only source of socialization was dance. I was really sad during that time and the only thing that kept me going was dance,” Willette said.

I joined Motive and I was very, very, very shy. I’ve always been a really shy person but dance is the only thing that lets me express myself. That is why I picked up dance in the first place because I felt like I could speak through movement rather than having to use my words.

— Chloe Willete, Junior

While on the team, Willette competed in various Dance Championships that took her all over the nation. She competed in the 2020 Prelude Urban Dance Competition, winning first in the youth crew and big group division, and in the World of Dance Michigan, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles competitions.

There was this one [competition] in 2020. It was very notable because after [the crew] finished performing people were crying and we got a standing ovation,” Willette said. “Even though I was just starting [to dance again], it made me realize that dance is such a universal thing that everybody can feel and understand.”

In early 2023, Willette was given the opportunity to teach dance classes in her dance studio. After gaining experiences from joint lessons and subbing, Willette was offered a spot to teach intermediate hip-hop classes. However, after a few months, Willette stopped teaching due to a conflict of schedules.

 Recently, Willette entered an indefinite hiatus, but she hopes she will return to dance eventually. Since Willette typically danced with an older crew, she constantly felt as if she needed to mature quickly and stand her ground, this took a toll on her and after years of pressure from herself and others, she decided it was time to take a break.

“The main reason why I’m on a hiatus is because I felt dancing honestly didn’t feel fun to me any more—it felt more like a chore. I think all that pressure to hold this standard was just so taxing on my mental health,” Willette said. “I’m taking a break because [being] a little 11-year-old and having so much pressure—it really does shake you as an individual.”

While on her break from dance, Willette is exploring new hobbies such as weightlifting.

“I need time to figure out my identity. For so long I was just a dancer and I don’t think that’s completely right,” Willette said. “I still have faith that I will go back to [dance], it is still a part of me, it is still who I am. I think God has a plan for everybody and he has a plan for me.”

 

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About the Contributor
Greta Carrasco
Greta Carrasco, Online Editor
Greta Carrasco is a junior at Hagerty High School, and this is her third year on staff. She was born in Mexico and is fluent in both English and Spanish. Her favorite types of stories are opinions, and she enjoys writing about topics she's passionate about.
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