This week we are excited to feature YPAC alumni, Lili Nash! Lili is now attending Hofstra University in New York! We are so proud of Lili and were excited to chat with her about how dance has positively influenced her life.

Lili began dancing at YPAC as a sophomore in high school, but began her dance journey with Miss Emily when she was just four years old. Lili remembers being shy and nervous to leave her mom at her first dance classes, but Miss Emily and her assistant, Miss Megan, helped Lili to come out of her shell and begin expressing herself through dance while having fun with friends.

When she  first started at YPAC, there were only five people in ID company, so she had to dance with her sister who was five years younger than her. Lili says this taught her  to learn to work with her sister and to control herself when things didn’t go the way she wanted them to. She expressed that YPAC took what she had previously learned and taught her how to implement it into her life in a positive way.

Although Lili began her YPAC journey as a sophomore in high school, she credits her time at YPAC for some of her most important lessons. At YPAC, Lili learned to use her competitive nature properly, and to not pit herself against other people. She was taught to work with young children and how to teach people of all different ages.

Through dance, Lili says that she has been shaped into the person she is today. Dance gave her a competitive edge that appears in almost everything she does. It taught her to be on time and to manage her time wisely. It has taught her persistence and goal-setting. Now that she is in college, Lili’s life is busy and hectic, but she says that the skills she learned in dance from the beginning have taught her how to balance a busy schedule and a busy life and to focus on what’s important.

Lili also said that dance is a great outlet for her “Type-A” personality. Dance allows her to let go and have fun in a safe environment. Through teaching dance, she is able to pass along her passion and knowledge to the next generation of dancers.

Most importantly, dance has been a constant for Lili–the one thing in her life that has never changed.

Lili credits many people to her success in dance so far. Her biggest supporters have been her parents and sister. They have always been there for her, encouraging her to follow her dreams even if they were crazy. Her dance teachers have also been huge supporters, as well, always checking in to see how she is doing at school or in life. Miss Megan was also one of the first supporters Lili ever had. She was the dance assistant in her first class ever. She was the only reason she would go into class every week. Lili has grown up with Megan by her side.

Miss Emily has been Lili’s biggest supporter and mentor throughout her entire life. Lili says that Miss Emily was always the constant no matter what was going on. She has trusted Miss Emily with her entire life and says that Miss Emily has guided her into the person she is today.

Lili is currently attending Hofstra University and is on the dance team. She hopes to someday earn her Master’s Degree and eventually her Doctoral Degree as well. Her current job entails traveling around the country teaching dance through UDA. She is also an instructor at the North Shore Performing Arts Center.

Lili’s dance journey is marked by many amazing experiences and accomplishments. Among some of her favorites were the first-ever Pan-American Cheer Championships hosted in Cali, Colombia on November 11, 2017. Hofstra Cheer and Dance were asked to represent the United States in the competition. Both teams took home the gold. The championship was one of the first steps to having cheerleading fully recognized as an Olympic sport!

We are so proud to be a part of Lili’s journey and we can’t wait to see how her dance journey continues to bring her success in life!