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Chelsie Hightower: Mormon and Modest

Chelsie Hightower mormonMost dancers, even very young ones, wear immodest clothing without giving it any thought at all. For Mormon dancers, this can pose a challenge. Mormons believe in showing respect for the body God has given them by using it correctly, and not using showing it off to attract inappropriate thoughts and attention. Modesty rules apply to both men and women.

Chelsea Hightower, a popular Mormon dancer who was a finalist on a television program called “So You Think You Can Dance” was about to go onstage for a solo when she realized she didn’t have a dress for the number. She approached the wardrobe department, and they offered her an immodest dress that didn’t even cover her stomach, which is a violation of Mormon dress standards. She was unwilling to wear it, so she began approaching other wardrobe people, checking the dresses she had brought with her, and looking frantically for an appropriate outfit. The time approached when she should have been warming up and steeling her nerves for the solo. Solos always made her nervous, and the panic over finding an appropriate outfit only made her nervousness worse. Only moments before going onstage, she found something to wear.

She was concerned about the impact of not warming up and of going onstage already frazzled, but she felt a calm come over her as she went onstage. She knew God was rewarding her for her determination to honor her standards. While she was not always allowed to control her wardrobe choices on the program, she tried to wear appropriate outfits whenever she was allowed to choose what to wear.

Source: Chelsie Hightower’s Experience on SYTYCD
August 17, 2008 — Bryce Haymond on Millennial Star


  1. hannah says:

    It is most unfortunate, that the talent of this young lady gets overshadowed by her clothing choices.

    1. Terrie says:

      Hannah, this is a story Chelsie herself tells. It’s something she wants people to know about her.

      I am an author, but the books I write are not the most important thing I do and they’re not the most important things I am. I am a great many things and I want people to see me as more than just an author. Many child stars have complained that they grew up being just their talent in the eyes of others and that it made life hard for them.

      Chelsie Hightower wants people to know there is more to her than just a dancer. Dancing is her job; it’s not who she is.

      It takes nothing away from her talent to acknowledge that she is a complete person with values, faith, personality, and other interests. In fact, it’s important to know those things. It’s why we like to read biographies of a person that have more than just how they became famous. We like to know who someone really is. Her clothing is, in part, who she is, because she chooses them based on her religious beliefs, which are a part of the total person she is.

      It’s a terrible disservice to successful people to shove them into a tiny hole marked “Famous” and to pretend they are nothing more than a shell with talent. Every famous person is a real person. It can be fascinating to learn who that real person is, and for young people looking for role models, stories like this are helpful.

      This is a religion site, not a fan site, so naturally the articles about Mormon celebrities will focus on some aspect of their religious life. We’re here to help young people find good role models in the celebrity world. There are millions of places to read about her talent, but only a few seem to care about her as a total person and to point out she is a young woman with values.

  2. olly octopus says:

    which solo was this?

    1. Terrie says:

      I’m sorry, but I actually have no idea. I’m not a big television watcher and I honestly didn’t know who she was until I asked friends to give me a list of famous Mormon teenagers. I found this story during my research, but it didn’t mention which song it was. She told the story in a talk she gave at church, so she may not have ever mentioned what song it was.

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