Winning New York City Dance Alliance's National Outstanding Dancer title is a dream come true for any dancer. But winning twice before turning 13? That's just how Madison Brown rolls. With buoyant leaps, jaw-dropping balances, and effortless extensions, the reigning National Junior Female Outstanding Dancer (and 2015 winner in the Mini division) is turning heads in the ballet world, too. Chosen as a National Training Scholar two years in a row based on her dancing at the American Ballet Theatre 2016 and 2017 summer intensives, Madison is aiming to make her second appearance at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC this month.
I'm always up for a ballet class. I could do ballet every day for the rest of my life. I also like contemporary because it's a good way for me to unwind and do something very different. -Madison Brown
This time last year, Eva Igo was already a comp-world star, having won national titles for a good three years running. But it wasn't until "World of Dance" producers asked her to audition for the show that Eva became a household name—not to mention champion of the Junior Division, thanks to her breathtakingly precise, gorgeously musical performances. Eva wrapped the "WOD" live tour last November and is now hoping to rack up more TV experience. "J.Lo told me in a mentoring session to just break down my wall and emote through the movement," Eva says. "Learning from her and Derek Hough inspired me to get back on camera, but also behind the scenes: I'd like to produce or supervise choreography in the future."
Everything happens for a reason. Always work your hardest and put your trust in that.
Just chatting with Carter Williams, you'd never guess he's comp-world royalty. He talks about his favorite dance movie (Chicago), his dream company (Shaping Sound), and his dance crush (Jenna Johnson—"She's so beautiful and awesome") with the enthusiasm and humility of someone who hasn't won Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, appeared on J.Lo's "World of Dance," and performed at DancerPalooza as part of the Beat Squad three years running. Last December, he brought his precise fluidity and can't-look-away stage presence to the 2017 World Dance Council Amateur League World Championships in Paris, France.
Kalea (pronounced kah-LAY-uh) Hidalgo knows how to move. Her decisive, dynamic dancing commands the stage: She gobbles up space so confidently it's hard to believe you're watching a mere tween. Unsurprisingly, that presence and power have started turning heads in a serious way. Not only did Talia Favia choreograph one of her solos in 2017, but Kalea also recently signed with Bloc Talent Agency in L.A. and, last summer, placed first overall in the junior contemporary solo category at Radix Nationals.
"When you're out on the dance floor, don't ask for permission—ask for forgiveness."—Kalea Hidalgo
Watching Kyndall Harris dance, you understand immediately why she was chosen for Janet Jackson's Unbreakable World Tour: Her musicality, energy, and natural stage presence bring to mind a younger version of Jackson herself. Kyndall's first major gig—with the Memphis Grizzlies junior dance team—came at the tender age of 6, and her star has only risen since. You probably saw Kyndall compete alongside Taylor Hatala on "World of Dance" last summer, and videos for big names like Jackson and Chris Brown have built her a solid YouTube following—more than 17,000 subscribers at press time.
"Always stay hungry, follow your dreams, and never forget to work hard."—Kyndall Harris
Fourteen-year-old Kennadi Boese is a teenage dance superhero. For one thing, she's successfully living a double life. One day, she's studying dance and going to school in Colorado like a normal teenager; the next, she's booking major L.A. gigs like the Kids' Choice Sports Awards. It's not just Kennadi's schedule that's super-powered: Her turns are effortless and endless, and she's crazy-versatile (flamenco, anyone?).
"It doesn't matter where you're coming from or how long you've been dancing. You can always accomplish your dreams, because you are capable of more than you think!"— Kennadi Boese
Nearly 93,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.
Avery Gay's chameleonlike abilities have earned her comp-world celebrity. In a testament to her versatility, she won the 2015 Hope Award—a prize reserved for the best classical and contemporary dancer in the pre-competitive age bracket—at the Youth America Grand Prix Las Vegas semifinals. Then she won it again at the 2016 Austin, TX semifinals.