Shataia Alicia Morris, 16, of West Hartford has been dancing since she was 6 years old, has won an abundance of awards and wants to continue dancing for years to come.
As a young child, she would watch the TV show “Dance Moms.” She said those hour-long episodes sparked a fire in her that will never be put out.
Morris has won over 20 dance awards, mostly for her solos in jazz, tap and lyrical dance. She recently won an award for a solo performance in lyrical dance.
“Dance is my outlet,” she said. “It’s something I use to express myself. It allows me to display my feelings. It’s my tool that I use. I have a strong passion for it.”
Morris’s mother Sharon is a nurse working in Hartford at a nursing home while her father Michael is a construction worker in Hartford and Avon. Morris also has six older brothers.
Morris has also won academic awards. She often makes the dean’s list, gets high honors and has won scholarships at Achievement First High School in Hartford for community service.
In her spare time, Morris, who attended elementary schools in Hartford, is a math and reading teacher to kids in her community.
Morris aspires to be a real estate broker. She hopes to explore that career in her upcoming senior year of high school.
“I’m excited, yet nervous, to start a new chapter in my life,” she said.
Morris is going to continue pursuing dance at her local dance studio, the Artists Collective in Hartford.
Elizabeth Condall is a student at the Cooperative High School, New Haven.