The Luella High School junior said the opportunity to dance on the stage of the Fox Theatre has been “amazing.”
But, according to her mother, Melissa Oglesby, Millhollin had a few physical obstacles to overcome at an early age before she could become a ballerina.
“Emma was born with dislocated hips and was sent home with a harness, but after several orthopedic appointments, she was able to stop using the harness before her first birthday,” she said.
Oglesby said although Millhollin faced challenges, she has always been determined.
“Emma works hard and conquers everything she sets out to do,” she said.
That drive was a necessity to land a role in the ballet, Millhollin said.
“The audition was a little nerve-wracking because the judges and choreographers were watching us so intensely. Then, waiting to hear if I’d made it or not afterwards was almost unbearable,” she said.
After being selected for the role of infantry member during the battle scene, Millhollin said the hard work really began.
“My first rehearsal with the Atlanta Ballet I almost cried. It was one of the hardest rehearsals I had ever been to because they expected so much more than I even knew I was capable of,” she said.
Classes were rigorous and lasted two to five hours every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“The Atlanta Ballet requires their dancers to be together, on the music and ready for the next step, so you really have to excel to be put on stage,” Millhollin said.
In previous productions of the ballet, Millhollin portrayed a baby doll, a solider doll, a flower and Fritz, Clara’s younger brother.
This is her first year with the Atlanta Ballet and Millhollin said she looks forward to more productions.
“My favorite part of performing is that moment when I first go on stage. My adrenaline starts pumping and I can’t help but smile when I look out into the audience because I get to experience something so special,” she said.
The ballet runs through Dec. 29.