5 OG Disney Channel Dancers Who Grew Up to Be Stars

Zendaya as Zoe Stevens in "Zapped" (David Bukach/Disney Enterprises)

The Disney Channel has launched tons of young performers' careers. Some of our favorite celebs started out as dancers on the platform back in the day. Here are five OG Disney dance kids we're still obsessed with.


Zendaya, our Queen, got her start by showing off her dance skills on the Disney Channel's "Shake it Up," and went on to have a super high-profile acting and singing career.

Alyson Stoner

Singer and dancer Alyson Stoner was appearing on the Disney Channel even before her breakout performance in Missy Elliott's "Work It" video. We really fell for her moves in the 2008 Disney Channel movie Camp Rock.

Allison Holker

DYK that one of Allison Holker's first jobs was dancing in the High School Musical films? Cleary, that experience was the start of something big!

Carlena Britch

Dancer Carlena Britch got her start in the Camp Rock films, eventually leading her to star in popular shows such as "Charmed," "The X-Files," and "Supernatural." See if you can spot her in the clip above!

Shamier Anderson

The Camp Rock films were clearly packed with stunning dancers. CR alum Shamier Anderson went on to star in shows like "Dear White People" and "Pitch."

Just for Fun
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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James Whiteside (Jayme Thornton for Dance Magazine)

Say you're perpetually impeccable designer Thom Browne. Say you're planning your Spring 2020 Paris menswear show along a "Versailles country club" theme. Say you want a world-class danseur to open the show with some kind of appropriately fabulous choreography.

Who do you call? James Whiteside, of course. On Saturday, the American Ballet Theatre principal—wearing pointe shoes and a glorious pinstriped tutu—kicked off Browne's presentation at the École des Beaux-Arts with a 15-minute, show-stealing solo. Whiteside choreographed the piece himself, with the help of detailed notes from the designer.

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