Taylor Butler 

Unable to use the equipment at school, dance junior Taylor Butler has transformed a room in her house into a makeshift dance space. Getting used to staring at the small screen while staying optimistic proved to be a challenge for Butler. 

“I got sad at the beginning of quarantine,” Butler said. “I missed all my friends and dancing with them.”


Butler attends school virtually, but has adapted to her new routine since March. A big factor for some normalcy was being able to attend her dance studio, outside of Dreyfoos, in-person. She recently performed in The Nutcracker, where she landed her first lead role as the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

“It was exciting to get a pretty costume and see the handmade tiaras,” Butler said. “It made me appreciate how much I love performing and being on stage.”

Over the summer, Butler had to cancel summer intensives at Richmond Ballet to stay home and train. She eventually went back to her studio and added another class to her schedule, focusing on ballet. Her time away from performing made her appreciate it more. 

“I felt like I was back where I belonged,” Butler said. “I can’t wait to get back to dancing with my friends at Dreyfoos.”

Lillian Theisen

Introducing our first student spotlight!

Piano sophomore Lillian Theisen spent her summer working on her piano in a completely different environment: Finland. In Florida, COVID-19 was a main cause of concern throughout the summer; however, Finland allowed Theisen to work in an almost COVID-19 free environment. Theisen took a piano course in the Eastern Finnish city with a professional pianist, something she has been doing since she was 8. There, she learned the Greig Piano Concerto- a challenging piano solo, as well as playing new pieces from more romantic time periods. Being a virtual piano major has become an advantage to her. She has more time to play and gets to use more of her instruments at home. While she is back in Florida, her summer in Finland offered her a more positive environment, helping her productivity. “It was nice to play music that I really enjoyed in a place that I really love,” Theisen said.