A Love for Dance and Finding Where You Belong – About Cover Model Emily Wilhelm
Emily Wilhelm grew up in Williamsville and attended Amherst High School. She earned a BA in dance from University at Buffalo, and an MBA from Medaille College.
Emily began dance lessons when she was just two years old, and has been dancing ever since. She also spent four seasons as an NFL cheerleader for the Buffalo Bills. She has been teaching ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop at Sherry Martin School of Dance and at The Dancing Pointe in Clarence for the past seven years. Emily also enjoys performing in a contemporary modern professional jazz company called Converge Dance. Converge, which is led by Hayley Sunshine, has performed at Nichols School, Bidwell Park, Canalside, Chalkfest, and in Syracuse. “It’s fun, and a great way to stay in shape and continue dancing.”
When she is not dancing, you can find Emily at KLW Group, a real estate appraisal firm, where she is an appraiser-in-training and soon to be a full-fledged commercial real estate appraiser. She says that she surprised herself in choosing this as a profession, adding, “Most people don’t even know anything about real estate appraisers. But it’s my Dad’s company, and I grew up watching him. I got to travel around throughout the state, and realized that Buffalo is a great place to be. Real estate is booming here!”
Emily says, “Sometimes the last thing you will ever think of becoming just happens, and it makes sense.” Emily thinks more young people should learn about and consider becoming a real estate appraiser. She says it is a field that lacks their involvement, despite the fact that it presents many opportunities. She thinks what she does is fun and explains that it requires skills like marketing research, taking pictures of properties, and coming up with an appraisal amount based upon comparable properties in the area.
Healthy eating is an important part of Emily’s life, too, and she is particularly grateful that her boyfriend, local attorney Ryan Mura, is a great cook. She enjoys the meals he prepares for her, noting that salmon is her absolute favorite. She also enjoys experimenting with various juices. Emily and Ryan also enjoy taking power yoga classes together given at Canalside on Saturday mornings at 10 and Friday evenings at 6. She says, “Yoga is a great spiritual outlet for keeping in shape and maintaining a mind body connection.”
Family is very important to Emily, noting that her siblings are years apart. She is close to her mom and dad, has a brother 23 who is away at school in Fredonia during the year, and a sister who is nine. She says her sister is an inspiration in her life. “She is so cool. She is a student in some of my dance classes. I enjoy spending time with her and being a role model for her. We have fun together, and enjoy sharing experiences – especially in the arts,” says Emily.
What advice does Emily have for readers? “Never settle for what’s easy. Challenge yourself! It’s important to cultivate the things you love – whether it’s yoga, cooking, drawing, or music. I believe that pursuing the things you enjoy helps build confidence in what you are able to achieve.”
Her other advice is to “surprise yourself.” Emily realizes that it is difficult to believe that you are choosing the right path, particularly if it different from what you envisioned for yourself. She says, “Just choose something, and be confident in that decision. Often it takes a series of experiences to get to where you belong.”