Dancer brings the heat


Mia Hutchins (center) warming up for class.

The lights slowly rise as the crowd quiets down, the music begins to play and the girls get into formation. While many students lace up sneakers for sports after school, junior Mia Hutchins puts on her leotards with her tights, then heads to the dance floor.

Hutchins is not like the average dance student at Decatur. She began dancing at the tender age of three and has felt the pressure of the spotlight and being on television. “My first time on television was awesome!” Hutchins said. “I knew that I had something really special.”

Mia poses in front of a sign for McClendon School of Dance.

She has her own view on dance. “Dancing inspires me to reach for my highest goals that I have set for my future,” she said.

Hutchins dances every day. In the end, she dedicates herself up to 25 hours a week and up to 40 hours leading up to performances.

Hutchin’s mother believes her daughter dreams to be great. “She is a dedicated, committed and hard working young lady who aspires toward excellence in every aspect of her dancing,” she said.

Hutchins dances for McClenden Performing Arts Institute located in Decatur, Georgia. She is one of the 14 girls in the senior preforming company. However, Hutchins thinks male dancers should consider joining. “I wish more guys would join our dance school because we do more than just ballet,” she said. “I think most guys think its girly but they could … do hip hop because our hip hop teachers are choreographers for music artists.”

Fellow dancer Brianna Poole thinks Hutchins definitely has talent. “Her strong points are definitely modern, hip-hop, and tap,” Poole said. “She has good potential to become a dance teacher too.”

Despite her ability, Hutchins doesn’t have plans to go professional. “My plans are to use my skills to teach.”

Hutchins dance studio has professional dancers who lend their talents to the youth. Hutchins feels blessed and pushes to get better every dance season. She believes that average is not enough. “We never settle for the Status Quo,” Hutchins said. “We are always looking to improve our dance skills.”

Mia Hutchins (left) dances in the Clark Atlanta University parade.