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MMDANCER.FE.121905.JEL

MMDANCER.FE.121905.JEL - RALEIGH - "It's sad to see people who really can't be out of their shell and live in their bodies. They're so scared of being who they are and living up to themselves," says Robert Hartwell, 19, from Knightdale who dances, sings and acts. "Dance has given me confidence in my body and who I am so that I can walk in an audition room with my head held high.".Hartwell is currently a freshman at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where he is working on his BFA in Musical Theatre. He teaches dance at the North Carolina Dance Institute during breaks from school and is practicing (in this photo) for a performance with East Millbrook Middle School in Raleigh as a guest dancer in their production of "The Nutcracker."."I fell in love with theatre and I knew that was just what I had to do", says Hartwell of his first experience of watching a play at Raleigh Little Theatre at age seven. Hartwell has been acting since that first experience and later started taking dance lessons when he was eleven. His dedication took him to the North Carolina School of the Arts when he was a teenager and now to Otterbein College.."This year my drama teacher at college gave us a Nelson Mandela speech and the last phrase of it is 'As we let our own light shine we consciously give others the permission to do the same.'" he says. "It is just so the truth, you know, if you are free and open to yourself, you automatically radiate.".Staff Photo by Juli Leonard

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Juli Leonard
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MMDANCER.FE.121905.JEL - RALEIGH - "It's sad to see people who really can't be out of their shell and live in their bodies. They're so scared of being who they are and living up to themselves," says Robert Hartwell, 19, from Knightdale who dances, sings and acts. "Dance has given me confidence in my body and who I am so that I can walk in an audition room with my head held high.".Hartwell is currently a freshman at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, where he is working on his BFA in Musical Theatre. He teaches dance at the North Carolina Dance Institute during breaks from school and is practicing (in this photo) for a performance with East Millbrook Middle School in Raleigh as a guest dancer in their production of "The Nutcracker."."I fell in love with theatre and I knew that was just what I had to do", says Hartwell of his first experience of watching a play at Raleigh Little Theatre at age seven. Hartwell has been acting since that first experience and later started taking dance lessons when he was eleven.  His dedication took him to the North Carolina School of the Arts when he was a teenager and now to Otterbein College.."This year my drama teacher at college gave us a Nelson Mandela speech and the last phrase of it is 'As we let our own light shine we consciously give others the permission to do the same.'" he says. "It is just so the truth, you know, if you are free and open to yourself, you automatically radiate.".Staff Photo by Juli Leonard