Student Art Spotlight: Bella Estes



Junior Bella Estes is graduating a year early to dance for the University of South Carolina.

By Drew Ingall, Arts Editor

Junior Bella Estes has literally been “dancing through life.” As a dancer for 14 years, she is now taking the opportunity to graduate early so that she can pursue her passion full-time.
On Nov. 26, 2016, she signed a letter of intent to dance at the University of South Carolina and thus committed to graduate from CHS at the end of her junior year.
“USC has an amazing dance program,” Estes said. “I got offered a scholarship due to my dance audition there, so it was the best choice for me.”
At three years old, Estes started dancing when her mother Marie Estes decided to enroll her in dance classes due to her daughter’s constant dancing around the house.
According to Marie Estes, although it was initially more of a social experience for Bella, it turned into a “love and passion for ballet” over time.
“With each year, the time commitment and level of difficulty increased,” Marie Estes said. “Many of her friends left ballet. However, she loved it so much that she wanted to continue.”
Although Estes has been involved in many forms of dance since she was little, ballet is the one that called to her the most.
According to Estes, one of the reasons she prefers ballet is that “it is the root to all forms of dance.”
Estes’s passion for ballet has brought her great success. Along with her scholarship to USC, she performs at the Maryland Youth Ballet, one of the most prominent dance studios in the region. She has also performed with very well known dance companies around the country and on some of the world’s greatest stages, like the Kennedy Center.
According to Marie Estes, her favorite performance was when Bella performed at the Kennedy Center with the famous dance company, the Joffrey Ballet.
But great success comes with huge effort and commitment. Estes dances every day for around four or more hours and even receives an abbreviated schedule at school so that she can make it all work. In order to graduate early, she had to put in significantly more effort than the average junior to make up for her senior year.
“She had to take additional [online] classes at Montgomery College on top of her full day at Churchill and busy week of ballet,” Marie Estes said.
Estes has influenced many people who are close to her, one of them being her sister, freshman Jordan Estes.
“I find it very inspiring in the amount of work and passion she puts into ballet,” Jordan Estes said.
Many people close to Estes love watching her performances. For Jordan, it is a treat when she gets to go watch her sister perform.
According to Jordan, she loves watching Bella dance because it is so “elegant and beautiful.”
Estes credits her success to her family. They have embraced her interest in ballet and supported her throughout her rigorous life as a dancer.
“They are always there for me and my ballet has become a part of my whole family,” Estes said.
Estes leaves for the University of South Carolina on August 16. She believes that the program there could lead to a bright future for her dance career and to many future possibilities.
“I have so many options since I’m going to college, so a career in dance is always a possibility,” Estes said.