Dancer Bios

Sarah by Jennifer Robertson Photography

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.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

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Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

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Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

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