Sarah Pippin is a 16-year-old high school junior who has attended CC & Co. Dance Complex for the last nine years. She trains in all forms of dance, but especially enjoys modern, contemporary and acro. In 2009 Sarah was recognized as the New York City Dance Alliance National Mini Outstanding Dancer; two years later she was named both NYCDA National Junior Outstanding Dancer and Teen Best Dancer at the Dance Awards. In addition, she was a national runner-up at JUMP Nationals in 2008, 24 Seven Nationals in 2013 and NYCDA Nationals in 2014. Sarah performed as a soloist in Come Together, the premiere performance of Shaping Sound Dance Company, in 2011, and later earned a weeklong apprenticeship with the company. In 2012, Sarah was featured in Dance Spirit’s "You Should Know" column, and in 2014 she was named one of DS’s Cover Model Search finalists. She has worked as a model for Dancewear Solutions and Weissman Dance since 2012.
Jake by Jennifer Robertson Photography
Jake Tribus, currently an apprentice with the Next Generation Ballet program at the Patel Conservatory, is a 16-year-old high school junior who danced at CC and Co. Dance Complex from 2010–2014. In 2010, he won a scholarship to The Broadway Bound Experience in New York City, where he trained with dancers and choreographers from Billy Elliot, The Rockettes and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 2013, Jake was named New York City Dance Alliance National Teen Male Outstanding Dancer and 24 Seven National Teen Male Non-Stop Dancer. He completed the Complexions Winter Dance Intensive in 2013 and the Juilliard Summer Dance Intensive in 2014. Jake is the co-founder of Artists Giving Hope, a non-profit organization whose goal is to inspire compassion, respect, and acceptance for all, regardless of race, gender, sexuality or beliefs, through performance, education, and the support of like-minded charities.
Tori by Brooke Roberson Photography
Tori Kent is a 15-year-old high school sophomore who works every day to fulfill the highest expression of herself as a human being and an artist. Tori has studied and competed in all genres of dance for 11 years at CC & Co. Dance Complex. She loves the adrenaline rush of jazz funk, hip hop and acro, but feels prettiest in ballet class. She is known for having the "eye of the tiger" thanks to her Mom, who encourages her to stay hungry and humble. Tori has performed at venues ranging from Radio City Music Hall to Raleigh's local auditoriums, and has earned many regional titles. However, the highlight of her life was when friend and mentor Martha Nichols took her behind the scenes on Rihanna's Diamonds World Tour in Washington, D.C. Tori's goal is to attend college in Los Angeles, be a professional dancer, and forever pay it forward.
Alexa by Jennifer Robertson Photography
Alexa Blair Robertson is a 14-year-old high school freshman and a student at CC & Co. Dance Complex. She is a singer, dancer and actress, but her number-one passion is dance. In the last year alone, she has been named Pulse Protégé, JUMP VIP, 24 Seven Non-Stop Dancer, Hollywood Vibe Teen Dancer, Velocity Maximum Artist Runner Up, West Coast Dance Explosion Elite Dancer, New York City Dance Alliance Hip Hop Scholarship and Outstanding Dancer Runner Up, and NUVO Breakout Artist Runner Up. Outside of dance, Alexa has acted in the Lifetime TV movie The Anna Nicole Smith Story, in which she played the teen Anna Nicole. She has also guest starred on the TV series “Chuck,” filmed a national commercial for Sketchers Bella Ballerina shoes, and played the lead role, Tina Denmark, in the musical Ruthless! in NYC. Alexa is a cancer survivor and aspires to be a pediatric surgeon one day.
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers
"World of Dance" is not messing around this season. Last night, J.Lo and her crew took an ax (just a metaphor, of course, but we're imagining it as a beautifully bedazzled ax) to the "WOD" playing field, eliminating six beloved Upper Team and Junior competitors. Brace yourselves: We've entered the land of Very Tough Choices.
Which acts were spared that sparkly ax? Read on, intrepid friends.