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WEST SUBURBAN VIP | Naperville 5th Grader Named Dancer of the Year 2021, Meet Gracie Adamson


When you see Groove’s National Dancer of the Year, Gracie Adamson (10) of Naperville with her vibrant smile, bright personality, brilliant confidence as she lights up the stage with her interpretation of a nerd dreaming of being a “Rich Girl”, you would never guess she was thinking:

School is very hard for me. Sometimes I feel like I have to work harder than others. I need certain tools at school to help me be successful. My dad has Muscular Dystrophy. It's hard being a kid with a dad with a disability. I love my dad, but seeing him with Muscular Dystrophy is so hard. My mom is married to my dad, but it's like she is a single mom. She has to do everything for me and our family.

But when she dances, she forgets about everything.

“I don't feel different than others. I feel like Gracie,” she says. “I don't have to worry about using all my tools at school or worry about my dad and his disability. When I go on stage, I feel like I am on top of the world. I can be free and be myself with no judgement. I can let go and feel powerful. Dance is a way for me to express myself.”

This Arlene Welch Elementary 5th Grader in Naperville has been dancing since she was 14 months old in Mommy and Me Tap classes. She began competitively dancing at age 4 and currently loves her Steps Dance Center in Aurora family.

“Steps isn't just a dance studio, it is my home and one giant family,” Gracie says. “The teachers and directors at Steps took the time to help me figure out how I learn and how I can be successful and make me grow as a dancer. They plan solo practices when they know my mom can get me there. There was even this one time when my mom had a meeting after work and Ms. Emily Rosenberg took me to the competition, did my hair and make-up and treated me like her own kid.”

Gracie confides that sometimes people look at her strangely when she tells them she is a dancer because she does not look like a stereotypical dancer; so she appreciates that her choreographers, Ms. Ang and Mr. Karlo incorporated her individual personality, style, and attitude when preparing her solo that was 100% "Gracie” and allowed her to succeed and shine in earning the coveted honor of Dancer of the Year! -Kristen Kurcharski, Photos Submitted

“Daily dance uplifts the soul to spiritual realms.”

–Lailah Gifty Akita





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