The time is now for Gabrielle Spotz.

The 17-year-old Stephenville ballerina is preparing to return to her Philadelphia hometown to pursue a dancing career.

"It's now or never," Gabby said. "I feel my best when I am dancing, and now I am moving back to Philly to turn my passion into a career."

As a child, Gabby would dance while her mother, Leslie, played classical piano.

Dance has remained a passion of Gabby's, who has since excelled in all forms of the art including ballet, modern and jazz.

The talented dancer has been awarded many times during ballet and jazz dance competitions and has performed in The Nutcracker with Ballet Frontier, an acclaimed Fort Worth ballet company.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Gabby has attended the Rock School of Dance's summer camps for years to continue sharpening her skills. This year she returned to Stephenville with a special invitation to attend the school year-round

The high school senior will home school herself through a Texas Tech University program while attending the Rock. She will complete her academic coursework and graduate with a high school diploma later this year.

To Gabby, however, her diploma will not show everything she has learned. She attributes much of her education about life to dance.

"Dancing has taught me so many things about life as well," Gabby said.

Her patience, attention to detail and focus are things Gabby has learned in the dance studio and on stage.

Gabby has also learned about different people and cultures.

"I've been exposed to so many people and cultures through ballet. Everyone has their own interests and passions, and they are all different," she said.

While dancers may have differences, one thing unites them as a whole.

"French is the universal language of ballet. Whether you are from America, Mexico, France or Germany, you learn ballet in French," Gabby said. "Ballet unites everyone as one."

Gabby attributes much of her progress in ballet to her instructor Renee Burdick.

"She is a big part of the reason I am going to the Rock," Gabby said.

In a few short weeks, Gabby will move to Philadelphia to continue her exploration and education of dance.

"I am super excited for Gabby, but I will miss her so much," Burdick said. "I know that with her talent and work ethic, she will go far in the dance world."

As Gabby embarks on a journey to one day take center stage as a ballerina, Burdick offers a simple word of advice.

"Merde, Gabby, merde," Burdick said.

Merde is the phrase ballerinas use to wish one another good luck before they take the stage for a big performance.

-year-old Stephenville ballerina is preparing to return to her Philadelphia hometown to pursue a dancing career.

"It's now or never," Gabby said. "I feel my best when I am dancing, and now I am moving back to Philly to turn my passion into a career."

As a child, Gabby would dance while her mother, Leslie, played classical piano.

Dance has remained a passion of Gabby's, who has since excelled in all forms of the art including ballet, modern and jazz.

The talented dancer has been awarded many times during ballet and jazz dance competitions and has performed in The Nutcracker with Ballet Frontier, an acclaimed Fort Worth ballet company.

Never satisfied with the status quo, Gabby has attended the Rock School of Dance's summer camps for years to continue sharpening her skills. This year she returned to Stephenville with a special invitation to attend the school year-round

The high school senior will home school herself through a Texas Tech University program while attending the Rock. She will complete her academic coursework and graduate with a high school diploma later this year.

To Gabby, however, her diploma will not show everything she has learned. She attributes much of her education about life to dance.

"Dancing has taught me so many things about life as well," Gabby said.

Her patience, attention to detail and focus are things Gabby has learned in the dance studio and on stage.

Gabby has also learned about different people and cultures.

"I've been exposed to so many people and cultures through ballet. Everyone has their own interests and passions, and they are all different," she said.

While dancers may have differences, one thing unites them as a whole.

"French is the universal language of ballet. Whether you are from America, Mexico, France or Germany, you learn ballet in French," Gabby said. "Ballet unites everyone as one."

Gabby attributes much of her progress in ballet to her instructor Renee Burdick.

"She is a big part of the reason I am going to the Rock," Gabby said.

In a few short weeks, Gabby will move to Philadelphia to continue her exploration and education of dance.

"I am super excited for Gabby, but I will miss her so much," Burdick said. "I know that with her talent and work ethic, she will go far in the dance world."

As Gabby embarks on a journey to one day take center stage as a ballerina, Burdick offers a simple word of advice.

"Nerde, Gabby, nerde," Burdick said.

Nerde is the phrase ballerinas use to wish one another good luck before they take the stage for a big performance.