When Camryn Bridges burst onto the "Dance Moms" scene in 2016, she made immediate waves. Sure, there was the inevitable reality TV drama that's bound to happen whenever a new cast member joins the crew—but then there was the fact that Camryn was good. Between her explosive jumps, her total commitment to each routine, and her ability to wring herself out every time she hit the stage, Camryn quickly became a force to be reckoned with.
Though "Dance Moms" has since closed up shop, Camryn is still crushing the dance scene, the convention scene, and her Instagram game. (A quarter million followers can't be wrong!) Here's what else you should know about the St. Louis, MO, native.
1. What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you do before bed every night?
The first thing I do when I wake up is go right back to sleep because I am by no means a morning person! I hate mornings. The last thing I do before I go to bed is put Chapstick on my lips.
2. What are three things you eat every day?
Otis Spunkmeyer strawberry shortcake muffins, fruit, and I try to eat one salad a day.
3. What are three things you can't dance without?
I need a good piece of music and then everything's great!
4. In your very expert opinion, what's the best dance movie of all time?
Step Up 2: The Streets
5. If you were given an hour to take class from ANY instructor—living or dead—who would you choose?
Brian Friedman or Tessandra Chavez. Jazz and jazz funk are my absolute favorite styles, which is why I'm obsessed with Brian. And Tessandra is a pure genius—she's so inspiring.
6. What's the coolest place you've ever performed?
The Fox Theater here in St. Louis. My favorite part was leaving my mark and signing my name on one of the backstage walls next to the thousand other legendary people who have performed there.
7. What songs are in heavy rotation on your playlist right now?
I have a very large selection of music. Right now I'm listening to "Rock" by Plies, The Greatest Showman soundtrack, and "Tempo" by Chris Brown.
8. Other than dance, what's your favorite way to work out?
Trying to keep up with my puppy and little brother, tumbling, and doing silks.
9. What's your favorite way to spend a Sunday?
DANCING ALL DAY! Or sleeping and catching up on my shows all day.
10. What has been the single greatest moment in your dance career so far?
The greatest moment in my dance career was definitely a blessing but also felt like a curse. I auditioned for the reality dance TV show "Dance Moms" in 2016 and made it onto the show, which I thought would be the best experience ever. But it was mentally and emotionally draining, with all of the fighting and hate I received for just walking in the door. I am 100 percent grateful for the experience and the exposure, though.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "