Madison Brown showing off her seriously impressive flexibility (photo by Collette Mruk, courtesy Jennifer Mazyck-Brown)

Why You Should Know Ballet AND Contemporary Queen Madison Brown

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

Fast Facts

Birthday: February 23, 2005

Age: 13

Hometown: Wellington, FL

Trains at: Lents Dance Company in Boca Raton, FL

Nicknames: Maddie, Mads

Most-played artists: Demi Lovato, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez

Madison in class at the ABT summer intensive (photo by Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy Mazyck-Brown)

If she were a superhero, her power would be: "Time travel! I'd go to the past to learn about my family and to see how ballet really started."

Favorite foods: Hibachi, Italian food

Favorite dance movie: First Position. "I watch it every single month."

Favorite dancers of all time: Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland

Must-see TV: "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars," "World of Dance"

Hidden talents: "I guess you could say I'm a pretty good swimmer. And I can pop my shoulder out of its socket!"


A version of this story appeared in the April 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "You Should Know: Madison Brown."

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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

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