Ryley Sumner is a 12-year-old dancer from Auburn, Alabama. She dances at Variations Dance Studio.
“Sharing dance with others makes my heart happy…”
How does dance have a positive impact on your life?
“Dancing is my passion. Through dance, I can be myself and express the way I feel without saying a single word. The music creates the mood and my dance movements evoke the message. Whether its a classical ballet piece, a unique contemporary style or a funky hip hop mix, the story can be told through my dance. Because the studio and stage lets me be me, I feel most confident and happy while I dance. The joy I feel overflows into an art form and beauty that is as unique as me. Dancing has given me a confidence that crosses over into my daily life.”
How do you want to use dance to make a positive influence on your community?
“My dance studio supports local organizations where it allows me to use my talent to give back to our community. Each year, I am able to share my love of dance, while raising awareness and support for those with special needs. Also, I recently lost most of my ability to hear and now wear hearing aids. Through this, I have learned to follow the beat of my heart, work hard toward my goals and let my love for dance guide me as I adjust to my new normal. I hope that others will see that no matter the obstacle, your passion can help you persevere. Sharing dance with others makes my heart happy and gives hope that they too can find what they love to do and to follow their own dreams.”