Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikayla Elliott.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Mikayla. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a 22 years old dancer, choreographer and mentor based out of Los Angeles, CA originally born and raised from Nampa, ID. From a young age, my parents Fred and Tamera put both my sister and I into dance. I would say I knew since the start that dance was what I wanted to do as a profession.
Growing up, I had a small speech impediment which caused lots of confidence loss. Dance was a place I felt the most normal and safe in. I got to use my movement and expression to be myself, which was a win in my eyes. In the studio, I was a different kid. I was excited, eager, and passionate to push myself to be better. Things never came easy but my determination grew past that. I grew up as a competitive kid competing in all genres of dance. At the age of thirteen, my mentor Misty Biery gave me the opportunity to assist some classes which eventually turned into teaching at sixteen. She 100% told the truth which is a big reason why I’ve transformed into the artist I am today. I missed lots of major social events in high school due to training to attend college for dance. It never really affected me as I had a dream to reach but it did affect some relationships. I knew the only way to achieve those goals was to stay focus, work harder, and never let someone tell you no.
After graduating high school, I moved to New York City to attend Amda College and Conservatory. I took various styles of dance and choreography classes from eight am to eleven pm Monday through Friday. My experience in the City was so spectacular yet very emotional. This was my first time moving away from home and it was a-crossed the globe, but this leap of faith led me into many opportunities. After graduating from the conservatory program, I moved to Providence Town Massachusetts where I played the role of June in Chicago the Musical with Peregrine Theater ensemble for four months. In the middle of the contract, I received a phone call from celebrity cruise lines being offered an eight-month contract as an ensemble dancer touring South America. During that experience, I didn’t have much available contact with family or friends outside the ship which gave me extra time to focus on my next career steps. I knew I wanted to finish my degree which would consist of moving to LA, but I didn’t want that to affect and or stop my professional opportunities.
This moment I felt extremely lost and unsure. I learned SO much and was extremely happy to be living the dream I worked my whole life for. I knew if I took another contract I could miss on some extra training and growth opportunities so I decided to move back to my hometown Idaho where I was offered many different choreography/teaching opportunities at several studios. I spent three months mentoring students and diving into my passion for teaching, and at that moment, I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge for myself and students and move to LA to finish my training at Amda college of the performing Arts (AMDA). These transitions surprisingly went smoothly and did wonders for myself as I started to feel more comfortable and confident in my skin. Along with training seven days a week/ academic classes, I continued teaching Youth Fitness and Dance at Wola in Beverly Hills. It’s been two months since I’ve received my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and I’ve accepted a position traveling on weekends as the Assistant Director With Starbound National Dance Competition. I love where my journey has taken me and am super excited to see what is in store for the future.
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?
Times have been good and times have been challenging, but I knew to pursue the career I have so much love for would be a rollercoaster. I have faced many struggles, but my family has stuck by my side supporting, believing, and rooting for me every minute. I strongly believe that they are a huge reason I keep on pushing to overcome all obstacles that come my way.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Currently, I have been taking a step forward as a teacher and choreographer. In the past few years, I haven’t had much time to consistently do so due to finishing school. I have grown trust within students and studios back in Idaho but want to start building that same trust here in LA. My goal as a teacher is to have the students believe. Believe in themselves, in the process, and that they are good enough just the way they are. This industry has grown so competitive, worrying and comparing themselves to others. I want my students to understand that it doesn’t matter your placement or how many titles you’ve won. It should only be a competition within yourself, your growths, and if you felt you did YOUR best. As a dancer, I didn’t start realizing that until I left the competition world and as soon as I did, I was happier, more confident, and achieved more of my goals. I want to pass all the knowledge and life lessons I’ve learned on my journey to help them reach their goals no matter what they are.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I have also always had a big interest in both health and fitness. In the next year, I want to focus on getting my certifications where in the long run, I will start my own online coaching program called FitWithME. My passion has always been helping others feel the best version of themselves, so I believe having the knowledge in all dance, Fitness, and health could be the start of a successful business. The plan is to do all coaching online so I can still continue pursuing my dreams as a dancer and choreographer.
- Website: https://mikaylaelliott5678.wixsite.com/mysite-1
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @mikaylaelliott1
Wes Klain, IAF Compound, Ashley Wall