by KELLEY GUSICH | photos by Chris Reilly Photography

Move to Music

Emma York began her dance training at just four years old at Danceology Performing Arts. Early classes in tap and ballet burgeoned to jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, and now even some ballroom. She studies ballet every day but Sunday, and enjoys the push toward correct form, line, and strength. Contemporary gives the opportunity to express her emotions and tell a story through movement. Hip hop and tap add the challenge of really hearing the music, breaking it apart to create unique rhythms and beats. “My favorite style of dance is usually whatever I am doing at the time,” Emma laughed.

Recently Emma went to New York City for the Dance Award Nationals, where she earned a place as second runner-up in the Best Dancer category in her first year in the junior division. She also won the Capezio Model Search 2015 while she was there. Her successes have been enhanced and punctuated in many ways, including attending the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive on a full tuition scholarship this past summer. She was even able to perform, with partner Joey German, live on the Dancing With the Stars season finale, which she will never forget. “The whole experience is something I would love to do again,” she shared.


Emma has been training at Danceology for eight years now. Her teachers inspire her: “I love their teaching styles and their choreography is amazing.” Also her team and classmates: “We help each other grow and push each other to do our best.” Her love for outdoor activities like running, biking, and going to the beach serve only to improve her dancing. She hopes to attend Juilliard after high school and wants to be a choreographer after her dancing career. When asked what she enjoys most about dancing Emma shared, “I enjoy being able to move to music. Dancing is kind of like another voice or unique language that I can make all my own.”

Dancing brings amazing things to Emma’s life. She has a sweet little three-year-old friend, Navy, who is fighting cancer. The difficulty of watching Navy go through her treatments has altered her perspective. “She has helped me to see that we shouldn’t take what we have for granted and to try our best each day.” About living in PQ, Emma is enthusiastic about its friendly nature and great friends. “I also love living so close to my school, Mesa Verde Middle School, my dance studio, and the beach!”


Name: Emma York
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Family: Parents – Jesse and Elisa York; Siblings – Taylor (7) and Jackson (5)
Hobbies: Dancing, bike riding, running, going to the beach, spending time with family and friends
Favorite Places in PQ: Hiking and bike riding in the PQ Canyon Preserve; Hilltop Park, Golden Spoon, Starbucks