Emma Sutherland ticks all the boxes for a winning competition dancer: ear-grazing extensions, perfect pirouettes and an explosive personality. But this 14-year-old isn’t all flash. She also articulates through each joint in her upper body, from her core to her fingertips, with the intention of a seasoned performer—and this artistry earned her the title of Junior Best Dancer at the 2014 Dance Awards in Las Vegas.
Emma spends her days training at the Ballet Academy of Texas and Dance Industry Performing Arts Center, the same studio that cultivated her idol, Ida Saki. This year, Emma will continue to follow in Saki’s footsteps as a freshman at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX.
(Photo by Chris Reilly, courtesy the Sutherlands)
"I strive to be as versatile as possible. Everyone knows me as a very technical contemporary dancer, so I love surprising teachers when I assist with hip-hop classes at conventions."
Birthday: March 2, 2001
Hometown: Frisco, TX
Nickname: “People call me Eclaire, because my middle name is Claire and it’s part of my Instagram handle.”
Dream pet: A sugar glider. “I’ve already had two pet rats, Lily and Luna, and two aquarium sharks, Zack and Cody.”
Favorite dancers: Ida Saki, Ebony Williams and Sylvie Guillem
Favorite Instagram filter: Mayfair
Weird talent: “When I lie on my back with my arm to the side, I can flip my shoulder around three times in the same direction. I call it my floppy fish arm.”
Pre-performance ritual: “My mom and I interlock our pinkies and kiss our thumbs twice. The second kiss is for my sister, Lauren, who started the tradition.”
Favorite food: Smoothies. “I’ve mastered a healthy version of Dairy Queen’s Orange Julius.”