Meet Michelle Lim: Juilliard, Sushi, and Following Your Dreams

You may have heard of dancer Michelle Lim.

She’s been getting a lot of attention recently for being the first dancer from Singapore to ever be accepted into The Juilliard School Dance Division. At only 19, she’s becoming quite the international star. Her video A Grand Jete to Juilliard has over ten thousand views and it seems like everyone in the dance community wants to talk with this rising star.

Michelle applied to The Juilliard School Dance Division using Acceptd’s platform. She uploaded her prescreen video and submitted her application last year. “It was a really smooth process!” she says.

If she hadn’t used Acceptd, Michelle would have had to send a physical copy of her prescreen audition video from Singapore to The Juilliard School in New York City. The cost for sending a package from Singapore to New York City can be more than $200. Even then, there’s always the possibility that the package could get lost or damaged on the way.

But with Acceptd, Michelle knew her video would get to the right people, and it cost her less than the price of leather full sole ballet slippers.

Surprisingly, that’s how the audition process worked for most performing arts schools until Acceptd came along. Applicants would have to send hard copies of their prescreen audition videos, in the form of DVDs or even video cassettes, to each program they applied to. That could get expensive. By uploading their audition materials to their Acceptd dashboard, applicants can easily send their prescreen materials to as many programs as they want without having to worry.

This was great news for Michelle, who’s wanted to be a dancer since she was young. “I can’t remember specifically when I wanted to be a dancer, but I know the decision came about during a low period in my life,” she says. All her technical skills and rigorous training come down to one thing: dancing brings her joy.

“Aside from my family and friends, I realized dancing was the only thing that brightened my day…I just could not imagine doing anything else.”

The Juilliard School is known for producing some of the world’s best performing artists in the fields of music, drama, and dance. To say its selection process is rigorous would be an understatement. Along with a precreen and application, applicants audition in-person, both as a group and individually. Even then, The Juilliard School only admits an average of 7% of its total applicants.

Even though Michelle finds herself part of that talented 7%, she is very down-to-earth. She loves sushi, saying she would eat it every day if she could. Her favorite dancer is Sylvie Guillem: “She’s so fearless and versatile, she commands the stage just by being there.”

Although she could see herself dancing in a modern or contemporary dance company in Europe or the United States, she ultimately wants to make her way back to Singapore to teach, perform, or choreograph.

“I really wanted to give back to the place that made all this possible for me.” Michelle_lim2

Being the first Singaporean dancer accepted to The Juilliard School is not only a testament to her talent as a dancer, but also to the bright future of the performing arts. With Acceptd’s online application platform, students from all over the world can now reach opportunities they didn’t even know were possible.

Michelle’s advice for young dancers pursuing their dreams speaks to Acceptd’s goal of helping students get to where they need to be. Or, as Michelle puts it, where they can be the best version of themselves.

“Don’t compare yourself to other people. Challenge yourself to be the best version of you, and you’ll end up in the place most suitable for you and not the person you’re trying to be. “