Lilliana Mercedes is an 11-year-old dancer from Daleville, Virginia. She dances at Floyd Ward School of Dance.

“I want to inspire people to do what might be impossible.”

How does dance have a positive impact on your life?

Dancing helps me express my emotions and tell my story. I feel like I’m free when I dance, and that nobody can stop me. Along with that, my friends and teachers help me feel unstoppable and help me achieve my dreams. Without all of their support and love, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

How do you want to use dance to make a positive influence on your community?

“I want to inspire people to do what might be impossible. My disease tried to hold me back from dancing, and many people believed I would never be able to do it. With support from my family, friends, and teachers, I was able to dance. I want them to be able to tell a story through something they love.