Get to Know Kyla Hull - Distinguished Young Woman of Virginia 2016

VA_KylaHullName: Kyla Hull

Age: 18

Hometown : Forest, Virginia

College: George Mason University

Major: BFA in Dance

What is your favorite food? Acai Bowls

What is your favorite movie? The Breakfast Club and all of the Harry Potter series!

What is your favorite Christmas/ Holiday tradition? Dancing in Lynchburg City’s Christmas Parade

What is your favorite quote? “Dancing along the border between turbulence and order.” – Jeannette Walls

What is your favorite time of the year? Sweet Summertime!

Plan ahead OR procrastinate? Plan ahead

Paper or Plastic? Paper.

Glass half-full OR glass half-empty? The Glass is always half-full!

Introvert OR extrovert? Extrovert!

Cats OR Dogs? DOGS!

Morning person OR night person? Night owl for sure!

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you absolutely need for survival?  My dance shoes (obviously), my phone (so that I can have music to dance to and a way to call for help when I’m ready haha) and an acai bowl (talk about a perfect day)!

What would we find in your refrigerator right now? Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, pineapple, salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, avocados, hummus, water, cheese, yogurt, milk, juice…can you tell I’m a health-nut/dancer yet?!

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. With whom would it be? If I could trade places with any other person for a week, it would be Cat Cogliandro. She is my BIGGEST inspiration when it comes to dancing and she is a creative genius! I have had the privilege of getting to study under her multiple times before and not only is she incredibly talented, but she has such an amazing soul. Cat is truly changing the world for the better, and it would be an honor to be in her shoes for a week!

Sum up yourself in three words. I am art.

What do you want to be when you grow up and why? When I grow up I want to be a professional dancer. I dream of dancing in a company and then one day starting my own and creating the choreography for it. There is something so special about communicating with an audience through dance; telling your stories, allowing them to enter your world and connect their experiences to yours. It’s so beautiful and rewarding to know that you affected someone and made an impact on their life, changing it for the better.

Describe your single-most favorite moment from your Distinguished Young Women experience. 

My Favorite DYW Moment (from my time at nationals)

They say that good things come in small packages.

Well, that statement could not be more pertinent to today. I am a firm believer that everyone, even the tiniest among us, are placed in our lives by God to teach us something important…and today, He used a pair of bright baby blues to open my own eyes and my heart. I had the opportunity to volunteer at “The Little Tree” as a part of our participation with the Junior League for Be Your Best Self day and never have I been filled with more joy. This school is special because it is specifically for children with autism.  These kids do not have a disability, God just made them a little extra compassionate and loving so that they could set an example for the rest of us.

I walked into a classroom and out of all of the kids, one little girl in particular stood out to me in her bright pink shirt with cheetah print hearts. Little did I know that in a few short hours, she would have my whole heart. As they stood up for craft time, we followed them over to their tables and I found myself gravitating to her chair. They were making Father’s Day gifts for their daddies. I carefully bent down next to her and said, “Hi I’m Kyla! Would you like me to help you make your craft?” She responded with a soft smile and a head nod signifying a yes. Before I knew it, the kids were preparing for lunchtime. During this transition, I asked an aid what this precious girl’s name was since she was too shy to tell me and I found out that it was Cameron. So I sat down next to Cameron to help her with her lunch. Positive reinforcement is an important part of working with autistic kids and I was trying to figure out how to motivate Cameron to finish her lunch. She had seen me make a funny face earlier, causing her to grin from ear to ear! She kept asking me to do it over and over again so I told her, “Each time you take a big yummy bite of your lunch, I’ll make the fishy face!” She would eat, I would make a silly face, and we giggled our way through her midday meal.

After this, we all went out for recess. The bright, hot Alabama sun beamed down on me, as I pushed Cameron on the swings, “high in the sky” as she liked to say. At this point she had completely warmed up to me. Before I left, we shared an intimate moment where she simply leaned against my side with her arms around my leg, my arms wrapped around her, and her head resting gently on me. It was during this, that God showed me how beautiful and powerful unconditional love is.

Good things truly come in the most small and special packages.

 

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