Daniel Miller became involved with Suwanee Ballet through his mom, a professional dancer and SAA dance instructor. Daniel played baseball from the age of four, and his mom finally convinced him around age ten that dance would help him improve his strength and flexibility. His first class was in musical theatre dance: four years later he had traded his glove and bat for ballet shoes and a barre. Daniel was a company member with Suwanee Ballet for several years and also assisted his dad to design and install lighting for SPA performances. After graduating from high school, Daniel had plans to attend the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts as a ballet major, but the outbreak of Covid-19 wreaked havoc with those plans.
Despite this temporary setback, Daniel continues to work toward his dance dreams. Since last August, he has been dancing with Terminus School of Modern Ballet’s Professional Training Program, where he takes a combination of ballet, contemporary, and conditioning classes six days a week. He has danced as a guest artist with several companies, returning to Suwanee Ballet in March to perform the “Shopkeeper” role in the Fairy Doll ballet. He has been accepted to summer programs at Alabama Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Oklahoma City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Ballet Met, Sarasota Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Louisville Ballet-on full scholarship! He has also been re-accepted to UNC School of the Arts. He is busy applying to several year-round apprenticeships as well, so he will have several choices come fall.
I asked Daniel if he had any advice for young artists hoping to succeed in the same way as he has. His response? “Keep at it, try hard, and put the work in. You’ll only get out of it what you put in.” Because he “started late” in ballet, he knew he would have to work hard to catch up with his peers. As a high schooler, he even took classes with middle schoolers to learn the basics! Daniel is proof that setbacks and challenges are simply obstacles to overcome, and hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to dive in wholeheartedly will get the job done. – Susanna Wilson