Meet the NEXT STEP Artist: Lily Wills

Lily Wills (she/her) is from Los Angeles, California. She trained at The Portland Ballet, the Oregon Ballet Theatre School, and the graduate program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She attended summer courses at The Washington Ballet, HARID Conservatory, and Oregon Ballet Theatre School. She joined Carolina Ballet as a trainee in 2015 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2016, and soloist in 2019. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2021.


Read on to learn a little more about Lily with her answers from The Proust Questionnaire! See Lily Wills’ first new choreographic work for NEXT STEP on May 25 & 26 at On the Boards.
Click here for more information and to buy your tickets.


NEXT STEP is PNB’s annual choreographic workshop where Company dancers have the opportunity to create original works for PNB School Professional Division students. NEXT STEP provides opportunity, infrastructure, and support to grow tomorrow’s choreographic talent while providing a performance opportunity to our most advanced students.



What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Living with the person I love in a super cozy space with a lot of light and plants. Having a little dog and a big dog, maybe some ducks or chickens, and raising tadpoles. Drawing pictures and dancing for fun, doing all kinds of creatively fulfilling work.


What is your greatest fear?
The death of my loved ones.


What is your greatest extravagance?
Eating cheese.


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Probably, “Yaassss.”


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to have more external rotation in the hips, please.


If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
A dolphin, because they’re smart, and they get to swim with their friends, and they go e e e e e e e.


What is your favorite occupation (i.e. thing to do)?
I like to eat delicious food and sit in a sunny spot.


What is your most marked characteristic?
I am silly and I laugh easily.


How would you like to die?
Quick and painless baby! Do not resuscitate!


What is your motto?
Never give up on your dreams ever.


What is your favorite color?
I like neon red and school bus yellow and the really bright green that the trees have been turning these days.


What is your present state of mind?
Stressed. I need night guard recommendations because I can’t stop grinding my teeth in my sleep.
It’s hard to find time to learn 4 new ballets, plus choreograph for the first time, design costumes, take care of my physical and mental wellbeing, and dodge the coronavirus. I failed that last one (twice) but we are still plugging away!



Headshot photography © Lindsay Thomas.