Elliott Puckett was born to dance — sometimes in drag

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Elliott Puckett aka Perry Ellis, 21.

Occupation: Server and dancer.

Spotted at: Cedar Springs and Reagan.

Born to dance: Originally from Harrisburg, Penn., Elliott, moved to Ennis (just south of Dallas) at age 5 with his parents and four siblings. He was already dancing — he always loved to move to the sound of a beat and show off his flexibility. His mother would drive him 45 minutes twice a week for dance lessons, and he went on to study at Booker T. Washington High School for Visual and Performing Arts. Elliott has walked the runway at DIFFA for the past two years, and was in Dallas Summer Musicals’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 2004.

Crossing over: Elliott has always had an interest in female impersonation and different styles of performance as long as he could remember. When he was old enough to walk, he would take his mother’s nightgown and tie a belt around his waist to make a homemade ball dress and would twirl through his living room. He started performing through a local charity organization at 14, doing shows at gay proms and fundraisers. When he turned 18, he started doing amateur nights at S4. “It’s amazing to see the pros up close and to be able to ask questions and get feedback to better my performance.”

Bully for him: Elliott struggled through school with bullying; at times, it was very difficult to stay positive. In 2011, he was part of the group Equality Texas that traveled to the state capital to participate in the annual Lobby Day to help pass an anti-bullying law.

Family support: Elliott has always had the support and love of his family. He can be seen out on The Strip with his mother as she screams for him while performing onstage. “She is my biggest fan, and isn’t afraid to put a dollar bill in my bra.” You can catch Elliott at the Alan Ross Freedom Parade performing in front of the ilume.

Favorite quote: “If ballet were easy, they’d call it football.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 19, 2014.