Photo by Gabby Fenimore, courtesy Abigail Jackson

2020 Cover Model Search Finalist Abigail Jackson

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When you watch Abigail Jackson perform, you're flooded with an overwhelming sense of calm. It's partly the effortlessness of her technique—her perfect turnout, her beautiful extensions, her flawless turns. But there's more to it. "It's easy watching her," says Danni Heverin, a Radio City Rockette who doubles as Abigail's mentor. "She sends out this serene energy." It's the kind of presence most dancers work for their whole lives. But for Abigail, it's simply who she is.


Abigail took her first class when she was only 2—"Your average once-a-week ballet class," she says. But it wasn't until she was 14 that something bigger clicked. That's when she saw the Radio City Rockettes perform—and, suddenly, she knew where she belonged. "Watching them dance, I just thought, 'I really want to do that. I want to be a part of something like that,' " she says.

She began working toward that goal—starting with the Rockettes Summer Intensive. (She's attended for four summers now.) She also reached out to Heverin, who spends her off-seasons in Abigail's hometown of Atlanta, GA, for private lessons. She doubled down on perfecting her technique at her home studio, the International City School of Ballet, and worked on pushing through her natural shyness.

"She has grown tremendously since I've known her," says Heverin. "She's not staying back in the corner anymore. She's commanding attention, going that extra step, dancing bigger. You can tell she's ready for the next step in her career."

Photo by Gabby Fenimore, courtesy Abigail Jackson

For Abigail, that next step will be Pace University in NYC (incidentally, only a 20-
minute subway ride from Radio City Music Hall) this fall. "I love how dedicated the Pace faculty are to their students," she says. "They're trying to prepare their dancers for the outside world, and help them in the dance community."

And while Radio City might be the dream, as long as Abigail is performing, she's happy. "Every time I get onstage, it's so magical for me," she says. "I feel like myself. There's no better feeling than getting to share yourself with an audience."

"There's this moment I love, when Abigail catches her own eye in the mirror—and she smiles. You can just see that she knows she has it. That's when she's ready to go out and shine. And when she does, all eyes are on her." —Danni Heverin, Radio City Rockette

Photo by Gabby Fenimore, courtesy Abigail Jackson

Fast Facts

Birthday: January 15, 2002

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Power dance move: "Definitely a tilt. A little leg, here and there."

Three words to describe her dancing: Graceful, elegant, authentic

Something essential in her dance bag: "I can't go to class without a TheraBand."

Favorite musical artist right now: SZA

Favorite TV show: "Stranger Things"

Advice to DS readers: "Never give up. Nothing that's worth fighting for is ever easy. There are ups and downs, but at the end of the day it's worth it to keep pushing towards your goals and dreams."

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