Lily Green

Hear Me Roar


October 2023 Issue
Photography submitted by Lily Green

Hometown: Bluffton
Career: Professional Dancer
Passion: Dancing and Performing

Tell us how your passion for dancing began? I began dancing at the age of 2! My older sister, DJ, was put into a dance class, and I would sit and cry at the door until they finally let me into the room. I went into that dance class, and the rest is history! 

What are some of the obstacles you have overcome to achieve your goals in dance?
My biggest obstacle I had to overcome was in October of 2017 when I had bilateral hip surgery. It was a big challenge physically but mostly emotionally. Having my dancing, which is something I had done every day since I was able to walk, taken away from me for months was so hard to accept. I had every reason to give up or quit, but I knew deep down that was never an option. I was meant to be a dancer and nothing was getting in the way of it.

What has been your favorite part of the journey? My favorite part has been seeing my growth throughout my 23 years of dancing. It’s not something you see on a day to day basis, but looking back on videos from when I was younger, i’m reminded that i’ve worked so hard to be where I am today. I’m so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that dance has given me!HearMeRoar1023 2

We know you are a never-say-die go-getter who works very hard. Was there ever a moment you wanted to quit? Being a dancer can be a big mental game. I lived in Los Angeles for six years, and while I was signed to an agency out there, I would go on countless auditions and the saying “you will get a million no’s before you hear your first yes” is so true. It can be very hard to accept in the moment that you didn’t book a job, but I tried to turn that into motivation to get into class, work harder and be better!

You now perform with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, basically living a life many only dream about. What do you love most about performing and living on a cruise ship? The people! I get to meet people from all over the world and perform for a different crowd every night. The crew members on the ship are from all over the world, and it’s so incredible when we all get together, and I get to learn about other peoples’ cultures! 

What are currently “ROARING” about? I’m ROARING about my next ship I get to do! Im currently in rehearsals learning new shows for my next ship, which I join in November! The shows I’m doing have been an absolute dream, and I cannot wait to get on stage and perform them! I will be sailing around Southeast Asia for nine months while performing, and I’m excited to see that side of the world!

There has to be some drawbacks in cruising from one paradise to the next. What are 3-challenges cruise ship living brings? The biggest challenge is how long the contracts are. You’re away from home for ten to eleven months, and it can be hard being far from family for that long, especially during the holidays! Another challenge is the food in the crew mess. It’s not terrible, and I’m so thankful to not have to cook but having the same options for every meal every day can get rough. Lastly, I would say the wifi. It is nice to disconnect for a bit but crew has to buy wifi and it is not cheap. And when you buy it, it’s not guaranteed to work. FaceTime calls are very pixelated!

What’s your favorite cruise destination so far? It would have to be either Santorini or Mykonos in Greece! Every destination in the Mediterranean is gorgeous but the Greek Islands are an absolute dream! I’m obsessed with Mamma Mia! and blasted the soundtrack walking around the islands!

So far, what has been your most exciting moment/biggest opportunity in performing? Definitely being awarded my last contract! I was able to learn more aerial material and was a featured aerialist in the show! I learned how to fly in a harness and perform on many apparatuses such as straps and hammock! I was able to hang in the air and perform in a routine hanging over audience members!

What’s the biggest mishap you’ve faced while at sea? It has to be adjusting to the rough seas. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you’re battling sea sickness as well as having to go put on a show for the audience members! It’s rewarding when you finish a challenging show that was really rocky, but it was definitely hard to adjust to at first!

In addition to performing/dancing, what are some of your favorite things to do? When I’m not dancing, I absolutely love going to the gym and reading! They’re both fairly new hobbies I’ve picked up, but they both keep me calm and relaxed. If i’m not doing any of that, you can probably find me sleeping.

We hear you love working with special needs children and teaching them dance. What makes this so special for you? Working with these children and teaching them dance is truly one of the most rewarding experiences i’ve ever had. The smile on their faces reminds me what dancing can do for people. They also remind me why I started dancing and inspire me to keep pushing. 

Complete this sentence: If I didn’t dance, I would… not know my truest, most vulnerable self. Dance has brought so much out of me, and I’m so thankful for the opportunities to explore who I am through dancing.

It must be hard to leave your Lowcountry family and friends and go away for long periods of time for your work. What would you say to encourage others who want to follow their dreams even when it requires sacrifice and getting out of your comfort zone? Leaving home for such long periods of time is hard but something that always helps me when I start to feel down and really miss them is they know I’m doing exactly what I’ve dreamed of when I was a little girl. They are all my biggest supporters and fully support my dreams. Knowing I have that support helps me to keep pushing and striving to be better!