Christina Ricucci photographed by Erin Baiano

These days, everyone seems to know just how talented Christina Ricucci is. She has more than 91,000 Instagram followers. For six years in a row, she competed at Youth America Grand Prix, and made it to the finals each time. Last summer, Christina won Teen Best Dancer at The Dance Awards and was named first runner-up National Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance. Oh, and she was accepted to The Juilliard School’s summer program—despite technically being a year too young to apply. It seems the only person who may not realize the depth of her talent is the ultra-modest Christina Ricucci herself. Perhaps that’s because no matter how many awards she wins, 15-year-old Christina always wants to do more, work harder, get better—and, most importantly, keep having fun.

Christina started competing with her studio, California Dancer, at just 4 years old, with song-and-dance solos. “I’d tap around the stage, and then take breaks to sing,” she says, laughing. When she was 9, she decided to amp up her training and moved to Murrieta Dance Project in Murrieta, CA, where she still dances today. “It brought my dancing to a different level right away,” she says—even though it took her a while to get used to the competition-dance style. “Before, I hadn’t practiced turning very much. At Murrieta, there’s an hour-long turns class. I like not being good at something and working for it. When you get it, that means you’ve grown.”

Today, Christina also takes classes at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy. That hard-core technical training is evident when she performs: Christina’s every move is impeccably turned out and extended to the farthest corners of the studio. She’s been home-schooled since sixth grade, which allows her to dance all day during the week—in addition to singing, acting and modeling (quadruple-threat alert!)—and travel to conventions on weekends. “I used to be intimidated by the competition world,” she says. “But competitions teach you to perform onstage, under pressure, in front of so many people and judges. You learn discipline and self-confidence.”

Needless to say, the discipline is paying off. Christina says winning Best Teen Dancer last summer was “a dream come true.” As for the future? Juilliard’s summer intensive is just the beginning. Christina says that’s now her dream college, and she’d love to pursue the concert-dance world and someday join Shaping Sound.

“Christina is kind, humble and selfless. She has inspired so many young artists. I love that she’s still surprised when someone recognizes her or asks for her autograph. It makes me smile knowing that she dances because it’s in her soul, and no amount of fame or any award will change that.” —Erin Babbs, owner/director of Murrieta Dance Project

 

FAST FACTS

Birthday: September 5, 1998

What she’s listening to right now: Lorde and Beyoncé

Who would play her in a movie? Dakota Fanning. “Everyone says she looks just like me.”

Favorite actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Favorite movie: The Hunger Games

Must-see TV shows: “America’s Next Top Model” and “Cake Boss”

Favorite dancer of all time: Sylvie Guillem

Dance crush: Travis Wall. “My friends and I are kind of obsessed.”

Favorite food: Grapes

Hidden talents: “I can wiggle my ears and I play the guitar.”

If she could be a superhero, her power would be: “I would be invisible so I could play tricks on people…like my brother. I think about this a lot.”

 

CRAZY FOR CHRISTINA? Click here to vote for her!

 

Back to Cover Model Search

Read about Alyssa Allen

Read about Sarah Pippin

 

Latest Posts


Getty Images

How Gorgeous Is Our New Site?

Hey. Hi there. Hello. We notice you, noticing us.

What's that you say? We seem more…glamorous than usual?

Why yes, thank you! We DID have a glow-up.

Welcome to the new dancespirit.com. Our redesigned site is full of all the same great Dance Spirit content you love—but now it's delivered in an even more beautiful, reader-friendly package.

Take a look around. Stay a while. We're excited for you to get to know the new-and-improved us a little better.

A young Juliet Doherty performing as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Gene Schiavone, courtesy Doherty)

"My First Job": Six Dance Icons on the Gigs that Helped Them Break into the Industry

Nowadays, you know them today for their flawless work and enviable resumés. But today's industry heavy-hitters were once newbies hoping for their big breaks. A few of our idols took a trip down memory lane to look back on their first gigs—and how they changed everything.

Keep Reading

There’s Still No Oscar for Best Choreography, So We’re Giving Out Our Own Award—with the Help of Your Votes

2019's movies featured some truly fantastic dancing, thanks to the hard work of many talented choreographers. But you won't see any of those brilliant artists recognized at the Academy Awards. And we're (still) not OK with that.

So we're taking matters into our own jazz hands.

On February 7—just before the Oscars ceremony—we'll present a Dance Spirit award for the best movie choreography of 2019. With your help, we've narrowed the field to seven choreographers, artists whose moves electrified some of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year.

Check out our nominations for best choreography below, and vote for the choreographer you think deserves the honor. (You can vote once a day through February 6.) Haven't seen some of the nominated movies? Click here for a look at each one's choreography.

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search