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Say Hello to Molly – Student, Dreamer, DANCER!

Get to know Molly Hawkins, a dancer from a Coast Guard family who’s in college and likes coffee, Coldplay, and dance companies who push boundaries.



Molly Hawkins





Currently dancing at:

University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance.


Started dancing:

Age 3 in Creative Movement classes, but began serious ballet training at 9 in the Russian technique.


Training background:

The way I trained growing up was very heavily impacted by the fact that I am a military child of the Coast Guard so I never really stayed with one studio or even technique for more than four years. My pre-professional training, however, started with Regina and Vadim Bogomolov at the Classical Ballet of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, VA. A very influential part of my training though was when I trained privately for two years with Alice Sullivan of the Eagle River Ballet in Eagle River, AK. After, I moved onto Newport Academy & Island Moving Junior Company in Newport, RI and eventually graduated from the Avery Ballet in Fredericksburg, VA under the mentorship of Lisa Snape Avery.


Favorite style of dance:

I’d say it would have to be contemporary ballet since its kind of the best of both worlds – I really enjoy clean technique with a new flair to it.


Favorite song to inspire you:

It has to be a tie between “Wilder Mind” by Mumford and Sons or “Down” by Marian Hill – both are just songs that I love to move to and usually get me in the mood right before a class or rehearsal.


Now a song a little more personal to me that I actually have tattooed along my spine is “Fix You” by Coldplay. I believe it was in 2011 that the choreographer Travis Wall created a piece for FOX TV’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ to this song inspired by a situation that he was going through with his mom. It was always a piece that I adored but didn’t really hit home until I was about 15 and my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Once I was old enough and saved up my own money for it, I got “Ignite Your Bones” tattooed down my spine where my mother’s scar is from a major surgery she needed because of the cancer, so this is also a song that inspires me greatly.

Favorite pre-dance food:

Coffee! I don’t like to eat too heavily before a class or rehearsal so I usually stick to a cup of coffee with a banana and peanut butter beforehand and then try to keep my bag stashed with Lara Bars and nut mixes for in-between snacks.


Dream dance job or role:

I have so many dance dreams that it’s impossible to share them all but the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company definitely holds a very special place in my heart. I am also looking to audition for Nederlands Dans Theater’s second company this coming fall, and just recently, American Contemporary Ballet also caught my eye. I don’t really have a specific dream role as much as I would love to be a part of a contemporary remake of a classical ballet. I’ve seen Romeo & Juliet touched on before, so I’d love to see and be a part of a choreographer’s adaption of a classic that people have already come to know and love and see how their vision can transform it.


Best piece of advice you’ve received:

Leave absolutely everything you have to offer on the floor. Even on your hardest days, if you can walk away from the studio knowing that there was absolutely nothing left to give, then you have given it your everything and danced your absolute best. It was given to me by my Dad. It’s a saying that has gotten me through class, auditions, performances, and YAGP and is something I am very thankful to carry with me.



Emily Strickland is a professional ballet dancer and writer from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is currently dancing with Nevada Ballet Theatre in Las Vegas, where she’s had the opportunity to perform ballets like The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake, as well as in a collaborative performance with Cirque du Soleil. Previously she was an artist at Columbia Classical Ballet and a trainee at Richmond Ballet, where she was the featured soloist in Connor Frain’s premiere piece “Inertia”. She has trained with Richmond Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Nashville Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition, she is a ballet instructor at Avery Ballet.

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