Lily Ilott, a young dancer and Student Teacher from Dance Habit in Braybrook and Maribyrnong, has recently won the National DanceStep Award for Initiative.

DanceStep, a program offered in partnership with more than 150 Affiliate Dance Studios around Australia and New Zealand, and with more than 1500 students participating each year, is designed to grow and empower young leaders within the dance studio setting, under the guidance of their teachers and mentors. Established in 2017 and created by Jane Grech, a leading dance educator with more than 20 years’ experience, the four-level program offers a framework where participating students can develop as individuals and contribute to their dance community in positive ways.

Megan Jessop, Principal and Director of ‘Dance Habit’, nominated Lily for showing initiative across multiple settings with the dance studio. “Lily is developing excellent teaching skills and shows a natural ability for working with children,” shares Megan.

On becoming a finalist, Lily was invited to share more about her involvement in the program.

“I feel really proud to be a role model. I like to see the kids I help to teach improve, and they are very appreciative. I feel proud that my teachers give me the opportunity to step up wherever possible and try to do my best to help them and the students.”

Finalists of each category were asked to nominate a charity of their choice, which would receive a donation of $100 made in the student’s name. Lily has chosen The Starlight Children’s Foundation as the recipient of her $100 prize.

“I chose to donate to the Starlight Children’s Foundation because they grant wishes to ill children. I hope that my donation will go to making some special wishes true.”


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